1. The 2015 Class
- Stephen Thompson Jr. (Bishop Montgomery HS / Torrance, CA) ★★★★
- Tres Tinkle (Hellgate HS / Missoula, MT) ★★★★
- Drew Eubanks (Reynolds HS / Troutdale, OR) ★★★★
- Derrick Bruce (Elev8 Sports Institute / Delray Beach, FL) ★★★
- Gligorije Rakocevic (Cantwell Sacred Heart Of Mary / Montebello, CA) ★★★
- Kendal Manuel (Skyview HS / Billings, MT) ★★★
One of those groups who could be labeled one day as the “foundation class” for everything head coach Wayne Tinkle may someday accomplish at Oregon State, the loaded recruiting haul of three four-star prospects, which includes two coaches sons (Thompson Jr. and Tinkle) and a local product in Eubanks, was a complete game-changer for the program. While their careers are still ongoing, Eubanks, Tinkle and Thompson Jr. have all already emerged as potential NBA prospects, who may bring the Beavers back to the NCAA Tournament after last year’s 5-27 season. Some less-heralded additions like Gligorije Rakocevic and Kendal Manuel round-out this group with a solid core.
2. The 2014 Class
- Gary Payton II (Salt Lake CC / Salt Lake City, UT) ★★★
Between Cameron Oliver’s (Houston Rockets) failure to enroll at the school and Chai Baker’s horrible diagnosis of an enlarged heart, a small but gifted 2014 class could’ve been one that completely changed the game for Oregon State. Instead, the Beavers were only able to haul in a two-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and first-team All-Pac-12 performer from the group. Nice going, Gary Payton II. It goes without saying how crucial the lineage guard was in getting the Beavers to their first NCAA Tournament since 1990 and just what kind of mark he left on the Oregon State basketball program. In a strange king of way, maybe Payton II deserved his own class all-together to make his impact even that much more memorable.
3. The 2017 Class
- Ethan Thompson (Bishop Montgomery HS / Torrance, CA) ★★★★
- Alfred Hollins (Hillcrest Hoops / Phoenix, AZ) ★★★★
- Zach Reichle (Wilsonville HS / Wilsonville, OR) ★★★
But they haven’t played a game yet! Of course, the 2017 class is the hardest group on the list to gauge considering they’re still a few months away from hitting the hardwood but the overall impact of this class has serious potential, if players like Ethan Thompson and Alfred Hollins can blossom into potential stars in the Pac-12. As with most younger brothers, Thompson seems to be a bit ahead in his development at this point in his career than older brother Stephen Jr. was, which is fairly high praise considering the eldest Thompson averaged a team-high 16.3 points per game last season as a sophomore. If Hollins can become an athletic and versatile option for the Beavers and Reichle can stretch the floor and become a consistent knock-down shooter, Oregon State may have found themselves some diamonds within this group.
4. The 2016 Class
- JaQuori McLaughlin (Peninsula HS / Gig Harbor, WA) ★★★★
- Ben Kone (Archbishop Mitty HS / San Jose, CA) ★★★
- Keondre Dew (City College of San Francisco / San Francisco, CA) ★★★
Keondre Dew has already left the program after an inauscipious start to his Division I career, so the 2016 class basically lost one of it’s key members fairly quickly. That means from here-on-out, that it’s all JaQuori McLaughlin and Ben Kone for a potentially underrated haul of 2016-ers. McLaughlin is obviously the star of the group, after he posted 10.5 points and a team-high 3.3 assists per game in his rookie season with the Beavers and he’s expected to be a focal point of the program going forward, especially with the chance of a player like Stephen Thompson Jr. leaving early for the NBA Draft. For Kone, an inconsistent freshman year could give way to one of the team’s biggest one-year improvements, as Oregon State will need some serious reinforcements in the front-court this season.
5. The 2013 Class
- Hallice Cooke (St. Anthony’s / Jersey City, NJ) ★★★
- Malcolm Duvivier (St. Thomas Aquinas / Toronto, ON, CA) ★★★
Cooke only stayed for one season in Corvallis, before jumping ship to Iowa State (where he battled some career-threatening health issues) and then-Nevada. He’s expected to suit up for the Wolfpack this season, after sitting out last year per NCAA transfer rules. As for Duvivier, after three solid seasons for Oregon State in which he averaged 6.6 points per game for his career, but he recently left as a graduate student for Akron, where he’ll play out his last season of eligibility, after sitting out the 2016-2017 campaign due to “personal reasons”. Overall, even as a small two-man recruiting haul, the impact of this group for the Beavers was definitely on the low side of things.