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Hurricanes’ Norchad Omier doesn’t miss a beat after returning from ankle injury

Hurricanes forward Norchad Omier was dealing with an injured ankle when he returned to Miami’s lineup against Notre Dame on Wednesday. But he certainly did not look like a player dealing with a nagging injury.

The Hurricanes standout scored a season-high 33 points and picked up a double-double in a win over the Fighting Irish. Omier followed that performance with another double-double and a key block in UM’s home win against Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Omier missed one game and returned to practice after receiving treatment on his right ankle.

“He’s practiced,” Miami coach Jim Larrañaga said. “He missed the Syracuse game, he missed the practices leading up to Syracuse. But that weekend gave him a chance to really get a lot of treatment on the ankle.”

Omier has met high expectations after returning to Miami for a second season with the program. He is the No. 4 scorer in the ACC, averaging 18.1 points. He is also the No. 2 rebounder, notching 9.7 per game.

The fourth-year forward has experience playing with an ailing ankle. He suffered a sprained ankle in last year’s ACC tournament but returned in time to play during the Hurricanes’ entire Final Four run.

“He spent a lifetime in the training room trying to improve it, and he did, and he was able to play in the first round against Drake,” Larrañaga said. “He did that the other day and was able to play against Notre Dame.”

Cleveland questionable for N.C. State game, Poplar recovering

Hurricanes starting guard Matthew Cleveland missed UM’s win over Pittsburgh with what Larrañaga described as a “badly bruised” hip.

Unfortunately for UM, Cleveland may not be available for the Hurricanes’ road game against N.C. State on Tuesday night.

“He’s just recovering from a badly bruised hip, and not sure if he’ll be available tomorrow or not,” Larrañaga said.

Cleveland is averaging 14.8 points and 5.8 rebounds this season.

Guard Wooga Poplar has also been dealing with a sprained ankle that has limited him on the court. Larrañaga noted that the junior had not dunked for about a month due to the injury, but Poplar was able to elevate for a slam in the victory over Pittsburgh.

“For one month, from Dec. 29 to Jan. 25, he hadn’t dunked a ball — in practice or in a game or anything,” Larrañaga said. “He tried and said, ‘No, it hurts.’ Now it doesn’t hurt, but the ankle is still weak. He’s constantly getting treatment on it and doing exercises to try to strengthen it. He, obviously, is much closer to 100 percent. I wouldn’t say 100 percent but close to it.”