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Walk-ons save Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle from suiting up

SAN FRANCISCO – Thankfully, Oregon State added a handful of walk-ons to its roster. Otherwise, head coach Wayne Tinkle might have thrown out his back at the next practice.

The Beavers were so low on numbers at the start of the school year that Tinkle had to lace ‘em up himself to make sure his guys could run full court.

[Related: 2014-15 Oregon State men's basketball schedule]

“I had to get my old butt out there to go 5-on-5 – pulled a hamstring one day, inflamed Achilles maybe the next, so we’re glad that we have them,” Tinkle said at Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Media Day.

Beginning the 2014-15 campaign with nine guys, the Beavers held open tryouts to fill out the rest of their roster. The roster now stands at 15, seven of which are walk-ons. High number? Certainly, but that doesn’t bother Tinkle. In fact, he’s a huge proponent of what they bring to the team.

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“Walk-ons in my mind are very important to your program,” Tinkle said. “They’re the ones that are really giving everything they got … so when a scholarship guy maybe thinks he’s a little special in his role, you can remind him about the guy next to him that’s gotta take out student loans and that sort of thing to be out there on the floor.”

Tinkle faces a situation similar to the one confronted by Oregon State women’s basketball coach Scott Rueck, who had to build the Beavers from the ground up and also had open tryouts his first year on the job to fill out the roster. In his fourth season, the Beavers made their first NCAA tournament appearance in 18 years and advanced to the round of 32. The recipe for success exists in Corvallis.

[Related: Arizona picked to defend Pac-12 crown in 2014-15]

“Fundamentally, I think we believe and have some of the same philosophies. Roll up your sleeves, outwork your opponent, be honest, forthright with your values and vision when you’re recruiting,” Tinkle said. “Same philosophy that Scott [Rueck] has, Pat Casey with the baseball program, Mike Riley with football. We’re not going to change the way we’ve done things.”

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