HELENA — Carroll College men's basketball coach Kurt Paulson was named the Frontier Conference Coach of the Year, selected by conference coaches on Wednesday morning.

Paulson is in his first season with the Saints as he led them to a regular season Frontier Conference Championship and a 25-7 record, but he gives the credit to his players.

"We had great year. I don't read much into it," Paulson said modestly. 

Paulson previously coached at Oregon State under Wayne Tinkle where he was the director of operations since 2014.

Prior to that he was the boys basketball coach and activities director at Bigfork High, leading the team to the Class B semifinals in 2013.

Paulson graduated from Carroll in 2006 playing on the 2005 NAIA national tournament semifinal and 2006 NAIA national quarterfinal teams under Gary Turcott.

Carroll College senior forward Match Burnham was selected by coaches as the Frontier Conference Player of the Year.

Burnham finished his senior campaign leading the conference in scoring. He averaging 19.9 points, while also adding 5.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game.

His best game came on senior night against Rocky Mountain where he scored 33 points and finished 9 of 12 from the field.

While he was more of a shooter the last three seasons, Paulson had Burnham play down low more and attack the basket.

"He embraced it and it expanded his game more," Paulson said. "Everybody knew he could shoot but we needed to score in the paint and provide some size."

Burnham arrived to Helena entering the 2015-16 season where he started 30 of 32 games and was the only NAIA player to earn honorable mention all-American status after winning the Frontier Conference Freshman of the Year.

His offensive production increased his sophomore and juniors seasons, averaging 12.9 points per game last year and shooting a team-best 45 percent from 3-point range.

Burnham graduated from Liberty High in Spangle, Washington where he earned 2B All State honors and was selected as the 2B Northwest League Most Valuable Player, averaging 23.5 points and 10.1 rebounds per game.

Four other Carroll College players were recognized for their play during the regular season.

Point guard Shamrock Campbell was awarded the co-Frontier Conference Freshman of the Year with University of Providence's Jaxon Hashley. Campbell started 30 of 32 games, averaging 9.0 points and 2.6 assists per game and received great praise from his coach.

"He was very deserving," Paulson said. "He didn't put up as many numbers as he would on another team but he was our floor general."

Senior forward Matt Wyman and junior guard Dane Warp was also selected first-team all-Frontier Conference, while senior guard Ife Kalejaiye was selected second-team all-conference.

Wyman also won the Champion of Character award. 

Ryan Kuhn covers Carroll College athletics for the Independent Record and 406mtsports.com. Email him at ryan.kuhn@406mtsports.com or follow him on Twitter at @rskuhn

Carroll College sports reporter

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