Men’s Hoops Announces Nationally-Ranked Class

Click on the play button on the photo above for an exclusive one-on-one interview with the Voice of the Beavers, Mike Parker, and Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle about the 2015 class.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State men’s basketball head coach Wayne Tinkle and his staff announced one of the best recruiting classes in Beaver basketball history on Wednesday with the addition of four student-athletes who signed National Letters of Intent.

The nationally-ranked class includes Derrick Bruce, a 6-foot-3, 165-pound guard from Orlando, Fla.; Drew Eubanks, a 6-foot-10, 225-pound forward from Troutdale, Ore.; Stephen Thompson, Jr., a 6-foot-3, 165-pound guard from Torrance, Calif., and Tres Tinkle, a 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward from Missoula, Mont.

Thompson Jr. is the son of Oregon State assistant coach Stephen Thompson. Tres (pronounced Trace) Tinkle is the son of Coach Tinkle.

 “We are very excited that we can finally comment on the recruits,” Coach Tinkle said. “A lot of work went into this recruiting class. People are going to be excited for more than just what they see on the court; they’ll discover what each of these individuals stands for and the kind of character they have.

“It’s not like they are going to be the foundation; the foundation is going to be laid this season. But they are going to be great pieces we add to the mix going forward as far as rebuilding OSU basketball.

“It’s neat that they have a nice ranking, and we’d rather have that than not. But what’s more important is we are doing it with kids that are committed to the long haul. This is a group that’s committed to being here four to five years, joining the people that we have here currently and adding to it down the road.

Bruce attends prep school at West Oaks Academy in Orlando, Fla., where he’s a three-star guard and ranked 124th overall on Rivals 150. He averaged 21.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3.1 steals as a senior at Colony High School in Ontario, Calif., and was a first-team All-Inland Valley selection.

ESPN.com describes Bruce as:

“One of the more improved point guard prospects in the west. The wiry scoring point guard has impressive frame, explosive athleticism, and blossoming skill set for the point guard position. He can knock down the 3-point shot or explode to the rim off the dribble and finish with either hand. His vision can be high-level at times especially while attacking in the paint area. He is a talented point guard prospect with great size, exceptional athleticism, and a budding skill set.”

“Our coaches sold me on Derrick’s ability to make plays, to score inside and out, his level headedness, the fact that he didn’t like to lose but didn’t wear his emotion on his sleeves,” Coach Tinkle said. “As we evaluated him through July and had the conversations, he was hands down the top player at that position on our list.

“His ability to make plays for himself and his teammates, shoot it, get to the rim, defend with length and really compete. So all of those characteristics, along with him being a good kid with great character, we knew he was the guy.”

Eubanks (pronounced you-banks) attends Reynolds High School where he is a four-star forward and the top-ranked 2015 player in the State of Oregon by ESPN. He is also rated 134th overall on the Rivals 150 and 113th in the 247Sports Composite. Eubanks averaged 5.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game for NorthWest Xpress in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) this past summer to earn “High-Major Alert” recognition by ESPN.com.

ESPN.com describes Eubanks as:

“A bouncy 4-man who has a great frame, good hands, agile feet, and he's a quick jumper. He runs well in transition and has the mobility to finish in traffic. What stands out most is his quick reactions around the rim. His second jump is impressive as it leads to many tip-ins and rebounds. He can step out and hit the elbow jump shot as well and his footwork (drop-step) in the paint area is improving. Once he fills out and improves his offensive game, he should be a standout at the high-major level.”

“We said from day one we were going to make this state our epicenter in terms of recruiting, so I think it was very appropriate that he’s our first commit,” Coach Tinkle said. “He’s 6-10, he’s only been playing for a few years and he’s grown by leaps and bounds from even April when we saw him play. He’s very athletic, and can run and jump for days.

“His second jump off the floor is probably more impressive than his initial jump. He’s really quick-twitched and goes after every shot, sometimes to a fault, but we’ll work on that. He chases down rebounds and we think he has a tremendous upside as he continues to mature and grow and then be coached by our staff, as well as playing and competing every day with other Division I players.”

Eubanks chose Oregon State because “it’s in my home state and I love the coaches and future teammates.”

Thompson Jr. attends Bishop Montgomery High School in Gardena, Calif., where he is a four-star guard and ranked 69th on the ESPN 100. He averaged 23 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists as a junior, and was invited to the Nike LeBron James Skills Academy, the Kyrie Irving Skills Academy, the NBA Top 100 Camp and the Pangos All-American Camp.

ESPN.com says Thompson:

“Has a smooth shooting stroke that extends out to 22-feet. His shot is tight off the catch and he is getting better creating off the dribble. Despite his reputation as a shooter, the most impressive aspect of his game is his savvy. He understands angles while attacking the basket and he is an astute passer as well. His dad was an LA City legend at Crenshaw and a standout at Syracuse in the late eighties. While his dad was smashing on would-be defenders in the paint, Stephen Jr. is a lights out shooter who plays with great savvy and pace.”

“Stephen has very long arms and is very crafty,” Coach Tinkle said. “He’s a kid that looks almost like he’s kind of on auto pilot, because he’s so smooth. He’s competitive and we saw him several times make seven or eight threes in games this summer.

“He can really shoot it and can make plays off the dribble. He’s very deceptive defensively, has long arms and is a good athlete. He needs to add strength in the weight room, and when he gets the body I think he could be very impressive in our conference with his play-making ability, his level of competitiveness and his IQ.

“He can also play a couple of positions. He can play the point and can play off the ball. If he gets a little more strength, he could even play the small forward position.”

Thompson Jr. chose Oregon State because “the school has the major I am interested in and I was impressed by the men’s basketball program and coaching staff.”

Tres Tinkle attends Missoula Hellgate High School where he is a four-star forward and No. 77 on ESPN’s Top 100. He averaged 21.1 points and 7.4 rebounds as a junior and 20 points and 7.8 rebounds as a sophomore when Hellgate won the state championship. Tinkle was named “Most Versatile” at the Nike EYBL, a “Jack of All Trades” by ESPN at the LeBron James Skills Academy and the “Best Player” at the Earl Watson Elite AAU program camp. He also attended the NBA Top 100 Camp and Kevin Durant Skills Academy.

ESPN.com says of Tinkle:

“The clever lefty with long arms and big hands affects the game in multiple ways. He has a knack of finding ways to score at all three levels and his ability to attack the basket is uncanny. He plays with great energy and with purpose in mind. His savvy for the game is demonstrated by his passing ability and instincts around the basket. He is an excellent rebounder at both ends and his timing is outstanding. Tinkle is one of the more college-ready players in the national class of 2015.”

“I would say he’s a competitor,” Coach Tinkle said. “That would be the first thing that you notice when you walk in a gym, whether they are up 20 or down 20, you couldn’t tell by the look in his eyes because he’s getting after it. He’s a crafty player, a lefty, which can cause problems because they are a little unorthodox.

“He’s a good finisher at the rim, a solid shooter in space with range and a guy that makes good decisions. On the defensive end, he anticipates well, sees the floor and plays the passing lanes and rebounds it. He’s a high IQ guy, with size and skill, but more than anything is really that level of competitiveness.”

Tres Tinkle chose Oregon State because “I wanted to play for my dad.”

TICKETS: 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.

Fans possessing tickets for either the men’s or women’s basketball game this Friday may attend both without purchasing a separate ticket. Reserved seat tickets holders will be honored for both contests. Women’s basketball fans wishing to stay for the men’s game are asked to vacate reserved seats and move to general admission seating located in the upper concourse of Gill Coliseum. More details for this special offer will be announced Thursday online at osubeavers.com, and via social and local media.

PAUL VALENTI TRIBUTE: Every ticket this season will feature an image of Paul Valenti, an Oregon State athlete, coach, administrator and goodwill ambassador for more than 70 years, who passed away this past September. The team will wear a PV patch on their jerseys in honor of the Oregon State legend.

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