Most Valuable Player
The_Coach: Tres Tinkle - I don’t know how much of a case could really be made for another player. Stephen Thompson Jr. had his moments, but Tinkle’s averages of 20.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.7 steals per game are stunning. He was the head of the snake all-season long for the Beavers, for better or for worse (at times).
Marcus Russell: Tres Tinkle is the obvious answer. Tres and the Thompson brothers were the engines for Oregon State basketball all season long. I could also make a case for Kylor Kelley though, his ability to protect the rim changed the dynamics of the floor for Oregon State’s defense when they were rolling early in the Pac-12 play.
Joe Londergan: Tres Tinkle and it’s not close, I don’t think. The kid really did play his heart out. It was tough to watch when stuff didn’t fall because Tinkle really looked like he was putting his body on the line towards the end of the season.
Travis Johannes: What they said
Leo Castaneda: What Travis said.
Most Improved Player
The_Coach: Kylor Kelley - I never had any real expectations for Kylor Kelley (despite him being super kind to us in doing an interview after he committed to the Beavers) and he emerged as one of the best defensive players in the country. The seven-footer just looked so comfortable out there as the team’s defensive anchor and is coming along offensively.
Marcus Russell: Ethan Thompson. I think he took an impressive sophomore leap and is ready to become the focal point of OSU’s offense (if needed).
Joe Londergan: I have to agree with Coach. Kelley has come a long way over the course of his college career. The Beavs need him to continue to get better, but his defense did give them a nice little boost this year.
Travis Johannes: At the risk of sounding like the kid who didn’t pay attention and is just copying everyone else’s answer I gotta go with the human SWAT team Kylor Kelley.
Leo Castaneda: Before he got hurt, I thought Gligorije Rakocevic was well on his way to a more impactful season. He was averaging 8.2 points per game on nearly 68% shooting and 4.2 rebounds per game. Despite being dinged up, Big G still managed to finish the season with career highs in points per contest and shooting percentage,
Most Excited To See Back Next Season
The_Coach: Ethan Thompson - I have belief in Ethan’s ability to be an NBA level talent somewhere in the near future. Averaging 13.7 points per contest behind two scoring machines in Tres and his brother Stephen show his potential. When he’s not the third option offensively, I think Ethan can really be one of the top players in the Pac-12.
Marcus Russell: Tres Tinkle (crosses fingers).
Joe Londergan: If Tinkle does come back, that’d be critical because they definitely need his leadership and his scoring ability.
Travis Johannes: As a dude who is 5’8” when I lie to make myself sound taller I have always been fascinated by people being able to block shots. So I wanna see Kylor do it even more next year and win the PAC 12 DPOY.
Leo Castaneda: I think a guy who a lot of people are sleeping on is Antoine Vernon. It seemed like he seldom played, but when he did, I was always impressed with him. Despite his height he didn’t seem like a defensive liability, and I like that he is a facilitator and statistically was the best three-point shooter this season.
Player You’ll Miss The Most
The_Coach: Stephen Thompson Jr. - I’ve always thought that because the Beavers weren’t super successful during his stay, Stephen Thompson Jr. never got the due credit he deserved. In my eyes, he’s one of the best to ever play for Oregon State for the true passion and steadiness he showed for the program over his stay in Corvallis.
Marcus Russell: Big G. He may not have stuffed the box score every night, but he made great progress every season and is just an awesome dude.
Joe Londergan: If Tinkle doesn’t come back, that’d be critical because they definitely need his leadership and his scoring ability....wait, didn’t I just say that?
Travis Johannes: Tres... Cause I think he has played his last game in Corvallis .
Leo Castaneda: I’ll miss Stephen Thompson Jr.’s buzzer beaters. Would have loved to see him bury Washington one more time.
Player Who Needs To Take Biggest Leap
The_Coach: Warren Washington - Washington usually played for a few minutes, fouled 2-3 times and then found himself back on the bench. He added near no consistent value in any stretches, despite having the frame and potential to be a much-better contributor. I expect to be thinking of Washington much differently at this time next year.
Marcus Russell: Zach Reichle. The former No. 1 recruit from the state of Oregon has bounced in and out of the starting lineup. The sharpshooter shot just 32.4% from three as a sophomore and will need to take a big leap next season if the Beavers are going to be successful.
Joe Londergan: Definitely Warren Washington. With Big G gone, they need someone to step up in the front court and unless Payton Dastrup has some crazy breakout year, it’s going to need to be Washington.
Travis Johannes: Jarod Lucas. I know its unfair to put huge expectations on a true freshman, but losing Stevie will be tough and I think one of the new guys is gonna have to step up.
Leo Castaneda: Alfred Hollins. I think we all were expecting Hollins to become a solid contributor this year after a surprising freshman year. Unfortunately, he never did find his shot it seemed after watching his shooting accuracy dip by more than 10%. We’ll need him to get back on track next year if this team is going to go anywhere.
Highest Moment Of The Season
The_Coach: Civil War Sweep - There’s no better feeling than beating the Ducks. Except of course, for beating the Ducks twice. A dreadful end to the campaign doesn’t discredit the fact that the Beavers were the undisputed state champions. Who cares what they did in the NCAA Tournament. It’s all about Beaver Nation anyway.
Marcus Russell: Utah/Colorado sweep.
Joe Londergan: Beating Oregon twice, absolutely.
Travis Johannes: As a resident of Eugene (forgive me Benny for I have sinned), I enjoy rocking Beav gear around town after a civil war win, so beating them twice was very nice.
Leo Castaneda: Starting 3-0 to start conference play. Oregon State opened PAC-12 play with a win over rival Oregon, and then a home sweep of the Southern California schools, ending with a 13-point win over the UCLA Bruins. I was really thought they’d finish in the top two of the conference after that. They never went on to win more than two games in a row after that. Womp, womp.
Lowest Moment Of The Season
The_Coach: Overtime Loss At UCLA - There was just something about this game that never sat right with me. The Beavers were at a crucial junction in their conference slate and desperately needed a big win. I think the 28-3 discrepancy at the free throw stripe in UCLA’s favor is what really makes this game just so unforgettable.
Marcus Russell: Bad non-conference losses. The Beavers competed pretty well in the Pac-12, but rough losses early in the season hurt their resume from the get-go.
Joe Londergan: I think that loss to ASU right at the end was the moment I knew OSU was not going to the NCAA tournament.
Travis Johannes: Pac-12 tourney loss to Colorado. A.) It was a very unceremonious end to the season that had postseason aspirations. B.) I had to write a dumb post about Ralphie Report cause I am dumb and like to make bets.
Leo Castaneda: First half against Colorado in the PAC-12 Tournament. Knew there would be no postseason for the Beavers after that.
Personal Favorite Player
The_Coach: Antoine Vernon - For a guy who tallied just 53 points and 25 assists on the year, Vernon still really stood out for me. He played with great effort and passion for a guy who was probably never expected to play too much and he rarely looked to be a liability on the floor. I’m excited to see if Vernon is a bigger part of this team’s future.
Marcus Russell: Alfred Hollins. Hollins struggled a bit as a sophomore, but he has the most potential of any wing player for Oregon State. I love watching his defensive intensity and his athleticism.
Joe Londergan: It might be Kelley. What can I say? I like watching guys with good shot blocking ability who can be a force in the middle.
Travis Johannes: Payton Dastrup, cause he likes a lot of my tweets from BTD and I am very easily flattered.
Leo Castaneda: Generously listed at 6’, Vernon is commonly the shortest on the the floor, yet he can certainly play. He gives us short guys an inspiration.
Thoughts On Wayne Tinkle
The_Coach: Don’t Fire Him Just Yet - There’s no doubt that the program is at a bit of a weird place with our best players being the sons of coaches and our best recent recruits (Jack Wilson - Transfer, Alfred Hollins) not really reaching their potential. Next season is definitely going to be a huge for the fan base’s belief in the head coach.
Marcus Russell: Give him a lifetime contract (Mike Riley style).
Joe Londergan: If Tres comes back and they don’t at least make the NCAA Tournament or make a deep NIT run, it might be time to move on.
Travis Johannes: I think this is his last year unless they make the dance. Not making at least the NIT this season was actually pretty disappointing when you factor in how bad the conference was and how experienced the Beavs were.
Leo Castaneda: I get a bit upset a times looking back at this season and thinking that this team should have done better. Then I look at the 10-win conference record that this team hasn’t had in so long (yeah, yeah, weak year), and how competitive in almost every loss. Someone pointed out to me that it took Tinkle time to build his team at Montana, and that turnaround time should be coming in the next year. I know it’s not sport related, but it’s also kind of cool to see him push the academics with so many players on the conference all-academic team.
Will Tres Tinkle Bolt For The NBA?
The_Coach: No - I just don’t see this happening. Tinkle is projected at best as a second-round pick and if he really wants to play in the NBA (and not just collect a contract), he should know he needs more development. I think the lure of playing one last time for his father could be a key factor in his decision. However, money always talks in the end.
Marcus Russell: Bolt for the professional ranks? I’m leaning towards yes.
Joe Londergan: I’m just guessing, but I’ll say no. It doesn’t seem to be a trend of these guys leaving early when their dad is the coach.
Travis Johannes: I mentioned it earlier but I think he’s gone. I don’t think another year of Pac 12 basketball will greatly improve his pro prospects. He is already one of the older players in college basketball due to his redshirt season. He has had a history of injury. He will be graduating this spring (I believe). If I were him I wouldn’t want to burn another year not getting paid.
Leo Castaneda: I go back-and-forth with this in my head. He has a bit of an injury history, so being healthy right now after a big season would be reason enough to go now. Even if he doesn’t stick with an NBA team, he could make some decent money in Europe. On the other hand, there’s the bad taste of this season’s end, playing for his dad one more year, and getting to play in the NCAA Tournament which he missed out on his freshman year. I’m leaning towards him staying.
Next Season Expectations
The_Coach: Cautiously Optimistic - Thinking about Tres, Ethan and Kylor leading the team gives the Beavers an adequate trio to build around but beyond there, things are a bit blurry. Too many question marks linger in the ability of Alfred Hollins, Zach Reichle and Warren Washington to step up into bigger roles and fill the needed voids on a game-by-game basis.
Marcus Russell: Tres Tinkle back? NIT.... No Tres Tinkle? I just hope everyone has fun...
Joe Londergan: I’ll say NIT. If they have everyone back that they should plus some of the good freshmen coming in, it will be a decent team.
Travis Johannes: I was a student at Oregon State during the Jay John era... I have never had anything that would qualify as elevated expectations. Like Marcus said I just hope everyone has fun and makes friends.
Leo Castaneda: Even with the loss of #TwitterlessStevie and Big G, I expect this team to take another step (providing Tres stays) and win 12 conference games with either a deep NIT run or an NCAA Tournament appearance. My optimism is showing.
We thank the good folks over at Bruins Nation for the inspiration for our post-season roundtable. With that being said, it’s officially baseball season in Corvallis. Let’s keep gazing into the distance with our football coaches.