OGDEN — The Big Sky Conference named its men's basketball award winners on Thursday and Weber State was well represented. Sophomore transfer Scott Bamforth was named the Newcomer of the Year. Forward Byron Fulton was tabbed as the Freshman of the Year. Both Bamforth and 6-foot-6 forward Kyle Bullinger were named as a first-team all-league selections. Meanwhile, Wildcat guard Lindsey Hughey and center Trevor Morris were tabbed as honorable mention all-conference.
For the first time in league history, a Northern Colorado Bear was selected as the league's Most Valuable Player. Senior guard Devon Beitzel was tabbed the league's top player by the coaches, who selected the individual award winners and all-conference team. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players.
Montana senior Brian Qvale, the conference's all-time shot blocker, was named the Defensive Player of the Year. Beizel and Qvale were unanimous selections to the all-conference first team along with Northern Arizona senior Cameron Jones, the only repeat first team selection. Bullinger, Bamforth, and Montana's Will Cherry rounded out the first team.
Bamforth and Bullinger raised their level of play after 2009-10 league MVP Damian Lillard suffered a season-ending injury nine games into the season.
Bamforth, a transfer from Western Nebraska Junior College, averages 12.3 points per game is one of the top long-distance shooters in the nation. As of Monday, Bamforth led the nation in 3-point shooting accuracy and is currently hitting at a 53.1 percent clip. He ranks second in the league with an average of 2.5 3-pointers per game, and is second behind Beitzel in free-throw percentage at 87.7 percent.
Bullinger, from Mountain View, Wyo., averages 11 points and 6.2 rebounds per game and shoots 47.9 percent from the floor and 44.2 percent from the 3-point line.
Fulton, a 6-7 forward redshirt from Phoenix, Ariz., became the fourth Wildcat since 1986 to win the Freshman of the Year Award. Fulton has appeared in all 28 games, scoring in double figures 11 times. He averages 7.4 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.
Eastern Washington's Glen Dean, Montana State's Bobby Howard, Northern Colorado's Neal Kingman, Portland State's Charles Odum and Northern Arizona's Gabe Rogers were selected to the all-conference second team.