To give all of you out there in Beaver Nation the most Oregon State basketball preview content for the upcoming 2017-2018 season, we here at Building The Dam have compiled a 15 day until OSU basketball countdown that will lead up to the Beavers first official game against Southern Utah on November 10th. Starting today on Day 15, we give you our breakdown of the Oregon State roster and what to expected from the depth chart of the Beavers heading into a new campaign.
The Oregon State men’s basketball team plays their first exhibition game against D3 Pacific University-Oregon on November 3rd. With that date creeping up on us, it seems like a great time to break down just who is on the roster for Wayne Tinkle’s squad this season. The Beavs do lose Dane Muller and Matt Dahlen from last season’s team, and walk-on center Christian Russell transferred to Seattle Pacific. In other words, this is a very familiar looking Beaver basketball team.
But in order to improve on just 5 wins a year ago, this relatively experienced Beaver team will need to stay healthy. So here’s who is wearing the orange and black in Gill Coliseum in only a matter of days.
Cheikh N'Diaye - Redshirt Senior
One of many Beavs who caught the injury bug last year, N’Diaye was granted medical hardship last year after missing all but nine games with a shoulder injury. The 7-foot, 240-pound center worked himself into a starting role just before his injury and averaged 3.6 points, 2.2 rebounds, 0.1 assists and 0.8 blocked shots in 10.8 minutes per game. Prior to last season, the Senegal native was coming off of the bench with his most productive year being the 2014-15 season. That year, he played in 29 games averaging 7.7 points per game while also accumulating 15 blocks and 39 boards. Hopefully he can stay healthy and provide a solid presence in the middle in his last year as a college player.
Seth Berger - Senior
Berger comes to OSU as a grad transfer this year after spending the past four years at UMASS. Berger spent his youth in Seattle and graduated from Ballard High School before heading east, where he mostly came off the bench for the Minutemen. He averaged 3 points per game in his career playing just over 12 minutes per game. The bulk of his production came from his sophomore season. That year, he scored 162 total points with 15 assists and 18 steals. A 6’8” forward, Berger wanted to come closer to home for his final year of eligibility. Berger should be a nice boost to the Beavers’ depth.
Ronnie Stacy - Senior
Stacy played his first year of D1 competition with OSU last year after transferring in from Tyler Junior College. He saw time in 31 games with 8 starts. He saw significant time in most matchups, averaging 13 minutes per game. His best outing came against Southern Oregon where he scored 14 points with 9 rebounds and six assists. The 6’4” guard will probably play a similar role this season.
Gligorije Rakocevic - Junior
Rakocevic stepped into a starting role last year replacing Matt Dahlen amid injuries in the front court. Rakocevic started 14 times and played in all 32 games in the 2016-17 season. During that time, he averaged 4.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, 0.2 assists, 0.2 steals and 0.3 blocked shots in 18.7 minutes per game. At 6’11”, Rakocevic is effective offensively in the paint, a decent rebounder (he was second on the team in that category last year), and improving as a defensive player.
Tanner Sanders - Junior
People may remember that Sanders has spent time as a member of the Oregon State football, basketball, and baseball teams during his college career. The 6’5” guard and Corvallis native averaged the fewest minutes out of anyone on the team last season after not playing basketball in 2015-16.
Drew Eubanks - Junior
The 6’10” big man from Troutdale was the Beavers’ rock last season starting all 32 games. Eubanks also led the team in points, blocks, and rebounds. His point total ended up at 463, which was the eighth most by a sophomore in school history. His 69 blocks were also the second highest single season total in school history. He even tested the NBA Draft waters after the end of last season, but made the decision to come back since he didn’t hire an agent. He played well despite the circumstances of last season and OSU will likely lean heavily on him once again. The downside to that is teams will likely double team him frequently, like last year, and that resulted in him committing 96 turnovers. That number was the most by any one player in the Pac-12.
Stephen Thompson Jr. - Junior
Thompson hurt his foot in the season opener last year, which kept him out for the following six games, but came back and started all the remaining games in the year. The 6’4” guard averaged 16.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.2 blocked shots in his sophomore campaign. Thompson, along with Eubanks and Tres Tinkle, will need to be the leaders of this team moving forward given the amount of starting experience between them. Beaver fans will remember the key role that Thompson played in pushing OSU into the NCAA tournament two years ago, including his buzzer-beater against UW in February of 2016.
Tres Tinkle - Redshirt Sophomore
Son of head coach Wayne Tinkle, the 6’8” forward broke his wrist after six games last year, which kept him out the remainder of the season. In those six games that he did play, Tinkle averaged 20.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.2 steals and 0.8 blocked shots in 34.8 minutes per game. He was even the Pac-12 player of the week for the first week of the season last year with two double-doubles in that span. It’s easy to see why losing Tinkle was such a blow to the Beavers in 2016. If he can stay healthy, OSU will be a very different team in 2017.
Ben Koné - Sophomore
Koné played minimal time last year coming off of the bench. Part of that was trying to recover from a torn ACL in his left knee, an injury he suffered in high school. That kept him out of the first seven games of the season. When he was on the court, Koné averaged 2.9 points, 2.7 rebounds, 0.2 assists, 0.3 steals and 0.1 blocked shots in 13.4 minutes per game. Now that he’s fully healthy, we’ll see if he can grow into a bigger role.
Kendal Manuel - Sophomore
Last season as a redshirt freshman, Manuel started 25 games and really shined as a three point shooter alongside Jaquori McLaughlin. Manuel made 52 shots from beyond the arc, which was the second most by a freshman in school history. His minutes total of 923 minutes were also the fifth most by a freshman in program history. Expect him to resume that steady role in OSU’s back court this year.
Jaquori McLaughlin - Sophomore
McLaughlin had one of the most productive freshman campaigns in Oregon State history last season. He made 58 3s, which was the most by a freshman in school history and the seventh most in a single season by any player in school history. He started 30 out of 32 games, scoring 336 total points and netting 104 assists. His best game from last year was probably against Utah when 22 points, 4 steals and 4 3-pointers. It’s performances like McLaughlin’s that give you hope for Oregon State basketball.
Isaac Barnes - Freshman
A 6’8” forward who played his high school ball in Utah and Pennsylvania, Barnes is the son of OSU athletic director Scott Barnes. In his senior season at North Allegheny High School near Pittsburgh, Barnes averaged a double double with 15.9 points and 10.4 rebounds. Barnes is a walk-on, but his size and body of work is definitely promising for the future.
Xavier Smith - Freshman
The former 3-star recruit has hops, that’s for sure. Smith became a well known name in the Seattle area playing with O’Dea High School where he received All-Metro honors twice and took the team to the state championship game as a junior. During his senior season, Smith averaged 22.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals and shot over 80% from the free throw line.
Zach Reichle - Freshman
A 6’5” guard from Wilsonville, Reichle won pretty much every award you can win in Oregon high school basketball in the last two years. He was the Gatorade Oregon Player of the Year for 2016-17, 5A State Player of the Year the past two seasons, and led his team to state championship wins in his junior and senior season. ESPN also ranked him as the top high school basketball player in Oregon each of the last two years. Keeping the homegrown talent close can pay off big for OSU this year.
Ethan Thompson - Freshman
In addition to being the younger brother of Stephen Thompson Jr., Ethan Thompson was a consensus 4-star recruit coming out of high school after being named a MaxPreps First Team All-American and Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year. Thompson also led his team to the California Interscholastic Federation Open Division state championship last season with Bishop Montgomery High School in Los Angeles. Additionally He spent some time playing with Puerto Rico’s U18 national team in FIBA competition.
Alfred Hollins - Freshman
The 6’6” forward played his final year of high school basketball at Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix, Arizona and won the national championship. A 4-star recruit, Hollins is originally from San Francisco where he played three seasons at Sacred Heart Cathedral and was selected to the All-WCAL First Team twice and was named a team captain twice.