History was finally made on Thursday night.
Forward Tres Tinkle, the long-standing star of the Beavers basketball program and son of head coach Wayne Tinkle, took over the top spot in Oregon State basketball history when he passed Hall of Fame point guard Gary Payton for the title of the school’s all-time leading scorer.
Payton, who played for Oregon State from 1987 to 1990, scored 2,172 points over the course of his time in Corvallis, before going on to a Hall of Fame professional career, in which he was named a nine-time NBA All-Star, nine-time NBA All-Defensive first team selection, two-time All-NBA team member and 1996 NBA Defensive Player of the Year. He also won two Olympic gold medals representing Team USA.
At Oregon State, Payton was the 1990 Pac-10 Player of the Year, a 1990 consensus first-team All-American, the 1987 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year, the 1987 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and a three-time All-Pac-10 selection. Payton’s #20 jersey is also one of five numbers retired by the school, along with Mel Counts’ #21, Ed Lewis’ #25, Steve Johnson’s #33 and A.C. Green’s #45.
Tinkle scored the record-shattering points with a three-pointer!
In passing Payton, Tinkle also claimed the 7th spot on the Pac-12‘s all-time scoring list, where he know sits in far pursuit of Stanford’s Adam Keefe. Keefe, who played for the Cardinal from 1989 to 1992 and eventually went on to be the 10th pick in the 1992 NBA Draft, tallied 2,319 points in his career.
Tinkle trails Keefe by 147 points and would need to play at least eight games and average 20.0 points per contest to catch the Stanford legend. With just three promised games left in Oregon State’s season, that scenario seems unlikely, unless the Beavers were to make a deep run into a post-season tournament.
However, on behalf of all of Beaver Nation, enough congratulations cannot be given to Tinkle, who has been an often underappreciated player nationally, despite carrying the program during his storied career. A first-team All-Pac-12 selection in 2018 and 2019, Tinkle sits alongside Oregon’s Payton Pritchard as one of the front-runners for Pac-12 Player of the Year this season, an accolade that could put the finishing touches on his legendary time with Oregon State.