Five different Wildcats were honored by the America East (AE) in their end-of-season accolades, including six different honors.
The awards are highlighted by junior forward Jayden Martinez earning a spot on the AE All-Conference First Team, and redshirt first-year guard Nick Johnson being named the Rookie of the Year throughout the conference. Also garnering recognition was junior Nick Guadarrama named to the AE All-Conference Second Team. Johnson along with his fellow redshirt first-year guard Blondeau Tchoukuiengo were among those voted to the AE All-Rookie Team. Graduate student Chris Lester rounds out the honors for the Wildcats with his nomination to the AE All-Academic team.
Martinez is now the 10th Wildcat to be named to the All-Conference First Team in program history. The junior averaged 13.6 points per game in 2020-21 and was the catalyst for his team down the stretch. Martinez scored the sixth most points in the conference (259), and his 13.6 average ranked ninth. He finished his junior campaign as the second-most efficient three-point shooter in the conference at 42%. The Cibolo, Texas native also reeled in the most rebounds in the America East with 161 and averaged the third most per game with 8.5.
Johnson became the fourth University of New Hampshire (UNH) player to win the Rookie of the Year award. The rookie started 10 of the 18 games he played while averaging 7.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. Johnson has shot at a 45.2% clip this season. He also racked up four AE Rookie of the Week honors throughout the year.
Johnson’s backcourt mate, Tchoukuiengo, also earned four Rookie of the Week honors en route to his All-Rookie selection. The tandem totaled eight of the 11 possible weekly honors for rookies. Tchoukuiengo took over as the lead guard for the Wildcats in 2020-21 and made the most of it. He averaged 8.1 points in the regular season while leading the club in assists and steals, with 3.2 and 1.1 respectively.
Guadarrama improved from his All-Conference Third Team selection from a season ago. The forward looked like he could make an early case for Player of the Year, specifically after his career-high 34 points against UMBC. Guadarrama led his team in scoring at 14.0 points per game narrowly edging out Martinez. The junior also reeled in an average of 6.4 boards per game and led the team in free throw percentage at 83.8%. Guadarrama was the third best free throw shooter in the conference.
Lester graduated with a degree in Business Administration: Finance in just three years. He is now pursuing an MBA in Finance with a GPA of 3.90. The center has been named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court on three separate occasions. He is also a four-time member of the America East Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
Photo courtesy of UNH Athletics (In order: Nick Guadarrama, Nick Johnson, Jayden Martinez).