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Tres Tinkle Pac-12 Player of the Year?

Plus a way-too-early ballot for Pac-12 All-Conference awards

NCAA Basketball: Oregon State at Oregon Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The men’s Oregon State basketball team sits at a tidy 15-8 (7-4 in conference). They’re tied for second in the Pac-12 with a crucial stretch of games coming up (Oregon at home, LA schools on the road and the Arizona ones at home). They close the regular season on the road against the Washington schools. The schedule is daunting and earning an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament seems like a pipe dream at this point, but this is still a very good basketball team. One of the best Oregon State teams in recent memory.

While the NCAA tournament is probably out of their reach, there is still a very big individual award on the line. Tres Tinkle is in the driver’s seat to win “Pac-12 Player of the Year” honors and would be the first Oregon State player to do so since Gary Payton won it back in the 1989-90 season.

Anyone who’s watched the Beavers play this season knows how vital Tres Tinkle is to the Beavers success. Despite suffering a nasty ankle injury against Oregon to open Pac-12 play, Tres returned to action after missing just one game and has continued his dominant play. He leads the Beavers in points, rebounds and assists. He also leads the Pac-12 in points scored (2nd in PPG) and is sixth in RPG. While playing on an ankle that is less than 100%, Tres is still logging 35.6 MPG, which is 2nd in the conference behind only Stephen Thompson Jr. He’s also 2nd in the conference in steals per game and 9th in assists per game.

Looking at Tres Tinkle’s body of work it’s really no contest, he’s been the conference’s best player all season long. Tres’ numbers are on par (or better) than the past five players who have won the award.

Tinkle vs. Past Winners:
  • 2019: Tres Tinkle - 20.5 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 4.0 APG
  • 2018: DeAndre Ayton - 20.1 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 1.6 BPG
  • 2017: Dillon Brooks - 16.1 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.7 APG
  • 2016: Jakob Poeltl - 17.2 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 1.6 BPG
  • 2015: Joseph Young - 20.7 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 3.8 APG
  • 2014: Nick Johnson - 16.3 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.8 APG

While Tres Tinkle is the leader in the clubhouse for the award he still faces stiff competition despite the relative down year for the conference. Washington has dominated the Pac-12 this season. The trio of Matisse Thybulle, Jaylen Nowell and Noah Dickerson have been fantastic, but individually none of them compare to Tres Tinkle’s overall impact. Although I could make a case for Thybulle just based on his smothering defense. Robert Franks is probably Tinkle’s top competition, but Washington State’s team success (or lack thereof) could hurt him in the end.

Top 5 Contenders:
  1. Robert Franks - 22.6 PPG, 7.7 RPG (Most improved a season ago)
  2. Matisse Thybulle - 9.7 PPG, 3.3 SPG, 2.2 BPG
  3. Jaylen Nowell - 16.4 PPG, 5.4 RPG
  4. Luguentz Dort - 16.2 PPG, 4.5 RPG
  5. Kz Okpala - 17.7 PPG, 6.0 RPG

Apologies to Bennie Boatwright, Nick Rakocevic, Noah Dickerson, Chase Jeter, Kris Wilkes, Sedrick Barefield, Jaylen Hands, Brandon Randolph and McKinley Wright; all of whom are having fantastic seasons and could warrant Pac-12 Player of the Year consideration.

Without further ado, my way-too-early ballot for first and second team honors. And also all-freshman and all-defensive team honors.

ALL-PAC-12 TEAM

FIRST TEAM

  • Tres Tinkle - (Player of the Year)
  • Matisse Thybulle - Washington
  • Robert Franks - Washington State
  • Kz Okpala - Stanford
  • McKinley Wright - Colorado
  • Kris Wilkes - UCLA
  • Luguentz Dort - Arizona State
  • Nick Rakocevic - USC
  • Stephen Thompson Jr. - Oregon State
  • Jaylen Nowell - Washington

SECOND TEAM

  • Noah Dickerson - Washington
  • Sedrick Barefield - Utah
  • Ethan Thompson - Oregon State
  • Jaylen Hands - UCLA
  • Chase Jeter - Arizona

Honorable Mention: Payton Pritchard, Brandon Randolph, Remy Martin, CJ Elleby and Justice Sueing.

PAC-12 ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM

  • Luguentz Dort - 16.2 PPG, 4.5 RPG
  • Louis King - 11.6 PPG, 5.1 RPG
  • Timmy Allen - 11.6 PPG, 5.0 RPG
  • Moses Brown - 11.0 PPG, 8.4 RPG
  • Brandon Williams - 12.8 PPG, 3.7 APG

Honorable Mention: Matt Bradley, Cormac Ryan, Kevin Porter and Both Gach

PAC-12 ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM

  • Matisse Thybulle - (Defensive Player of the Year)
  • Kylor Kelley
  • Kenny Wooten
  • Tyler Bey
  • Zylan Cheatham

Honorable Mention: Moses Brown, Nick Rakocevic, Hameir Wright, Josh Sharma and Oscar da Silva