Wayne and Tres Tinkle are looking to make their last father-and-son season at Oregon State memorable.
Tres Tinkle, the son of head coach Wayne Tinkle, is a senior this year. He considered leaving for the NBA in the offseason but ultimately decided to return to the Beavers. That means he'll have one more chance to do something with his dad that Oregon State hasn't managed since his first year: Make the NCAA Tournament.
But first, a Pac-12 title is on Tres Tinkle's wish list.
"All that stuff is kind of why I came back," he said. "I think this is our best chance with this group of guys to do something like that."
Tinkle averaged 20.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists last season, when the Beavers finished 18-13 overall and 10-8 in the Pac-12 — their best finish in the league since 1989-90. Oregon State fell to Colorado in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament to cap the season.
The younger Tinkle has moved beyond thinking he has to "prove it up" because he's the coach's kid, his dad said.
"The way he's approached his teammates and the way he's approached his leadership has shown great maturity," Wayne Tinkle said.
The Tinkles aren't the only family in the Oregon State program. Ethan Thompson, the son of assistant Stephen Thompson, is a junior this season. Older brother Stevie graduated last year.
Like Tres Tinkle, the younger Thompson also considered the draft.
"It's hard when you've got guys like, 'OK, now I'm going to test the waters,' and you worry about what that does to your locker room. But I thought both Ethan and Tres showed great maturity in that they still worked with their teams, when we met to work out, and then they did what they had to do on the side to prepare for that experience," Coach Tinkle said.
Tinkle and Thompson are joined on the roster by senior Kylor Kelley. Four freshmen and three junior college transfers are newcomers to the team. Among them is 7-foot-1 post Roman Silva out of San Bernardino College.
The Beavers were picked to finish seventh in the league in the Pac-12 preseason media poll. Rival Oregon was picked to finish first.
Freshman Jarod Lucas is already turning heads. The 6-foot-3 guard set 15 school records at Los Altos High School in Hacienda Heights, California, starting every game in four years. He set a CIF Southern Section record with 3,356 career points, which was the third-most points in state history.
"He can put it in the basket. We didn't shoot it particularly well last year, and he's one guy that we think brings that, and the surprise has been his toughness and his IQ to pick up our concepts on the defensive end, and so that more than just rolling him out there to make shots I think is going to give him an early shot," coach Tinkle said.
THE LAST DANCE
Tres Tinkle didn't play as a freshman when the Beavers last made the NCAA Tournament in 2016 because of a foot injury. The Beavers fell to VCU 75-67 in the opening round. Gary Payton II was a senior that year.
While his son is moving on, Wayne Tinkle appears to be staying put. He signed a one-year contract extension in the offseason that keeps him at Oregon State through the 2022-23 season.
The Beavers are playing a pair of exhibition games this season — against Carroll College and Warner Pacific — to help the new players integrate. Normally the team plays one exhibition and a closed scrimmage.
"We felt like the more opportunities to get our guys to be introduced, to play in front of a crowd, will help us get out of the gate when we're playing in earnest," Wayne Tinkle said.
The Beavers open the season on Nov. 5 against Cal State-Northridge. They'll face Iowa State at home on Nov. 9 before a game against Oklahoma at Portland's Moda Center on Nov. 12. They open the Pac-12 season on the road against Utah on Jan. 2.
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