Men’s Basketball Holds First Practice

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CORVALLIS, Ore. – With nine players suited up, the Oregon State men’s basketball team opened the 2014-15 season with its first official practice Wednesday afternoon at the OSU Basketball Center. To watch an interview with head coach Wayne Tinkle and highlights from the first practice, click on the play button on the photo above.

There are currently 11 players on the roster, but Chai Baker and Alex Roth had to sit out the first practice with injuries, leaving Tinkle and his staff one player short of doing any five-on-five drills.  

“The guys that were out were really working hard,” Tinkle said. “We’ve got to get creative as a staff, because we can’t go five-on-five right now. I tried doing that last week and pulled a hammy. So we’ll have to make due until we have our tryouts and we add some folks to the roster. The guys that are here are going hard, we’re a long ways away, but it was a really good effort and a great feel as we wrapped up day one.”

Baker is still being evaluated by doctors after suffering an apparent cardiac-related medical incident at the OSU Basketball Center in August. Roth, who redshirted last season after walking-on, was expected to be out until March with a shoulder injury but has made significant progress and could return by the end of October.

“Chai is continuing to get evaluated and they are waiting to get some test results back that take I guess up to four to six weeks; the blood work and that sort of thing,” Tinkle said. “He’s hanging in and right now all he can do is stand still and shoot. I think later this week he’s going to kind of get word from the some of the doctors on what the plan is.

“We thought Alex was going to be out all season long, but he got some really encouraging news on his shoulder the last week. We’ve even been told he might be able to start doing some light practice in the next couple of weeks. So that would be a real bonus if a month from now he was on the court 100 percent, because we weren’t counting on him this year with the injury. But it looks like he’s going to be joining us before too long so that has us fired up.”

After practice Tinkle announced that junior Justin Stangel was awarded a scholarship for the season due to his hard work over the summer.

“We’ve tried to sell to these guys is you earn what you get and you get what you earn,” Tinkle said. “Justin had a real productive summer. He paid for summer school so that he could come down and get involved with our workouts. He really improved. We have some scholarships that are sitting there this year before we put them into use in the 2015 class, so we awarded him with a scholarship for this season. We felt he really earned it. When we announced it to the team a couple of weeks ago, everybody was fired up because they know how hard he has worked. I thought it was a real key moment for our team to share a little bit of celebration and something that one of our guys earned.”

One newcomer who has a familiar name to Beaver fans, Gary Payton II, participated in his first official practice at Oregon State.

“It felt good,” Payton II said about the first practice. “There’s a lot of work to be done. We are kind of a rebuilding stage from the summer and all that, but if everybody keeps working we’ll be on the same page and be ready for the season.”

The team will hold walk-on tryouts at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 4 on the second level of the OSU Basketball Center for Oregon State students interested in tryout out for the team.

“We hope to find five or six really good players,” Tinkle said about the tryouts. “We have no idea how many are going to show up. Hopefully we identify four or five guys that are not just going to be practice players, but guys that can push our players day in and day out. I wouldn’t be surprised if two or three of them didn’t see some sort of consistent playing time throughout the year.”

Oregon State is offering an exclusive #Commit2Wayne ticket plan that provides fans with season tickets for a flat $199 (tickets were $364 last season). The price will gradually step up the following seasons ($249, $299, $349) but remain affordable, and there is no obligation to commit to all four years. Season tickets will be $349 next year and beyond for fans who do not take advantage of this unique opportunity this year.

Fans can secure their season tickets for a $25 deposit by calling 800-GO-BEAVS or visiting beavertickets.com. Click on this link to read the letter that Tinkle sent to Beaver Nation asking for their commitment.

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