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Wolfpack Rising: Omlid Leads Men's Hoop All-GNAC Team
Tanner Omlid was named the GNAC Player of the Year after being selected as the Preseason Player of the Year at the beginning of the season and the Defensive Player of the Year in 2017.
Tanner Omlid was named the GNAC Player of the Year after being selected as the Preseason Player of the Year at the beginning of the season and the Defensive Player of the Year in 2017.
Western Oregon's Jim Shaw was named Coach of the Year for the second time in his three seasons leading the Wolves.
Western Oregon's Jim Shaw was named Coach of the Year for the second time in his three seasons leading the Wolves.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. – Defensive Player of the Year, Preseason Player of the Year and now Player of the Year.

The stellar career of Tanner Omlid at Western Oregon continues to receive further accolades as the senior forward was selected by coaches as the 2017-18 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Year, leading the selections to the GNAC Men’s Basketball All-Conference Team.

Omlid, who transferred from Army to his hometown school three years ago, has played a key role in the Wolves winning regular season championships in both 2016 and 2018. The leading scorer in Western Oregon’s team-oriented style of play, averaging 13.5 points per game, Omlid also ranks 10th in the GNAC with 6.3 rebounds per contest. Continuing to be a defensive force, Omlid leads the league and is sixth in Division II with 2.57 steals per game and second in the GNAC and 28th nationally with 1.89 blocks per game.

Omlid enters the GNAC Championships with four double-doubles on the season and a season-high scoring output of 32 points at Seattle Pacific on Feb. 8. Against Portland Bible on Dec. 7, Omlid had an impressive line of 25 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, five steals and seven blocks.

The forward leads three Western Oregon personnel to win conference special awards. Jim Shaw was named as the league’s Coach of the Year for his second time in three seasons in Monmouth while senior guard Malik Morgan succeeds Omlid as the Defensive Player of the Year.

Central Washington freshman guard Khalil Shabazz was the unanimous choice of coaches as the Freshman of the Year while Saint Martin’s junior guard Luke Chavez was the unanimous selection for Newcomer of the Year.

In addition to his Player of the Year selection, Omlid earned his second first-team selection and third all-conference selection of his career. Joining Omlid and Chavez as first-team selections are Western Washington forward Daulton Hommes and guard Trey Drechsel; Northwest Nazarene forward Maurice Jones and Simon Fraser guard Kedar Salam.

Now in his third season as head coach at his alma mater, Shaw has led Western Oregon to GNAC regular-season championships in two of those years. He has coached the 2017-18 Wolves to an impressive 27-1 overall record and the No. 1 seed in this week’s GNAC Championships. The Wolves ended the regular season ranked sixth in Division II in field goal percentage (.505) and ninth in steals. Western Oregon is just one of four teams in Division II this season to have reached 27 wins.

Morgan, the Defensive Player of the Year, has fit well into the Wolves’ team-oriented style of play. A starter in 19 games this season, Morgan is averaging 9.8 points and 2.6 rebounds per game and has 1.7 steals per game, ranking fourth in the GNAC. In addition to his defensive prowess, the senior transfer from Humboldt State has scored in double digits in seven of WOU’s last eight games.

Shabazz stepped right into a leadership role as a freshman at Central Washington. The Wildcats’ leading scorer at 15 points per game, Shabazz is also second in the GNAC and 18th in Division II with 2.24 steals per game. He has scored in double digits in 18 games this season and started his career with a 28-point outburst against Cal State San Bernardino on Nov. 10.

Chavez helped to elevate an already improved Saint Martin’s program. He finished tied for sixth in the GNAC in scoring at 16 points per game and also ranked third in assists (4.11 per game) and seventh in free throw percentage (.851). He was the Saints’ leading scorer in 14 games, topped by a 30-point effort at Central Washington on Nov. 30.

Hommes and Drechsel were honored for their roles in leading Western Washington to a second-place GNAC finish. Hommes ended the regular season ranked second in the GNAC in scoring at 18.3 points per game, sixth in three-point percentage (.449) and ninth in field goal shooting (54.6 percent). He also leads the GNAC and is 25th in Division II with his .884 free throw percentage. A double-digit scorer in all but one game this season, Hommes has scored 20 or more points on nine occasions, led by his double-double of 37 points and 12 rebounds against Harding on Dec. 16.

Drechsel, meanwhile, finished the regular season ranked ninth in the GNAC at 15.2 points and was tied for ninth in the league with 1.25 steals per game. The junior has eight 20-plus point performances and three double-doubles, topped by his 32 points and 17 rebounds against Concordia on Nov. 30. That performance helped earned Drechsel selection as the USBWA Division II National Player of the Week on Dec. 5.

Jones proved to be a force on both ends of the floor for the Nighthawks, finishing third in the league in scoring at 17.7 points per game and second in rebounding at 8.8 boards per game. A constant threat from three-point range, Jones finished the season fifth in the GNAC with a .452 three-point percentage.

Salam is Simon Fraser’s first-ever First Team All-GNAC selection. He finished the season leading the GNAC in scoring at 20.4 points per game and is ranked 20th in Division II in field goals made (212) and 24th in field goals attempted (434). Salam was named the USBWA Division II National Player of the Week on Jan. 9 after he averaged 33.5 points and six rebounds per game in a pair of home wins, topped by his 40 against Central Washington on Jan. 4.

Central Washington and Western Washington each landed three all-conference selections. The Wildcats were led by second-team guard Jawan Stepney. Five of the six first-team selections and second-team selection DJ Ursery of Alaska Anchorage were unanimous selections. Seven of the team’s 21 players were repeat selections.

2017-18 GNAC MEN'S BASKETBALL ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
Player of the Year: Tanner Omlid, Western Oregon
Coach of the Year: Jim Shaw, Western Oregon
Defensive Player of the Year: Malik Morgan, Western Oregon
Freshman of the Year: Khalil Shabazz, Central Washington
Newcomer of the Year: Luke Chavez, Saint Martin's

FIRST TEAM          
Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
*+% Tanner Omlid Western Oregon F 6-4 Sr. Monmouth, Ore. (Army)
* Luke Chavez Saint Martin’s G 6-4 Jr. Woodacre, Calif. (South Puget Sound CC)
*@ Daulton Hommes Western Washington F 6-7 So. Lynden, Wash. (Lynden Christian)
*# Maurice Jones Northwest Nazarene F 6-5 Sr. Riverside, Calif. (Saddleback Coll.)
* Kedar Salam Simon Fraser G 6-3 Sr. Toronto, Ont. (Univ. of British Columbia)
Trey Drechsel Western Washington G 6-6 Jr. Woodinville, Wash. (Cedar Park Christian)
           
SECOND TEAM          
Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
Malik Morgan Western Oregon G 6-0 Sr. Eugene, Ore. (Humboldt State Univ.)
@ Deandre Dickson Western Washington F 6-9 Sr. Easton, Calif. (Bakersfield Coll.)
@ Coleman Wooten Seattle Pacific F 6-5 Jr. Maple Valley, Wash. (Tahoma)
Jawan Stepney Central Washington G 6-4 Sr. Kent, Wash. (Cochise Coll.)
* DJ Ursery Alaska Anchorage G 6-4 Sr. Los Angeles, Calif. (Univ. of the Pacific)
Obi Megwa Northwest Nazarene G 6-0 Jr. Phoenix, Ariz. (Mesa CC)
           
HONORABLE MENTION         
Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
Alex Baham Alaska G 6-4 Jr. Wasilla, Alaska (Peninsula CC)
Michael Kluting Alaska F 6-6 So. Palmer, Alaska (Palmer)
@ Fuquan Niles Central Washington C 6-11 Sr. Seattle, Wash. (North Idaho Coll.)
Khalil Shabazz Central Washington G 6-2 Fr. Seattle, Wash. (Rainier Beach)
@ Christopher Edward Concordia F 6-7 Sr. Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. (Chaffey Coll.)
Kendall Denham Montana State Billings G 6-0 Sr. Malta, Mont. (Malta)
Zack Rollins Montana State Billings G/F 6-6 Jr. Pelham, N.Y. (San Bernardino Valley Coll.)
EJ Boyce Saint Martin’s G 6-1 Jr. Boise, Idaho (San Jose State Univ.)
Gavin Long Seattle Pacific G 6-5 So. Wenatchee, Wash. (Wenatchee)
           
* - Unanimous Selection              
+ - First Team Selection In 2016-17        
# - Second Team Selection In 2016-17        
@ - Honorable Mention In 2016-17        
% - Second Team In 2015-16         
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