Three Student-Athletes Join Men’s Basketball Program
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle and his staff announced Friday the addition of three student-athletes who signed National Letters of Intent to join the Beaver basketball program beginning with the 2022-23 season.
The new additions include 6-foot-4 shooting guard Nick Krass, 6-foot-2 point guard Jordan Pope and 6-foot-7 small forward Jayden Stevens.
They join a class that includes 6-foot-8 forward Tyler Bilodeau and 6-foot-8 wing Michael Rataj, who both signed this past November.
"We're very excited with the five high school players we're adding to our team," Tinkle said. "Returning to our culture of success, on and off the court, is priority one for us. These guys are all talented, high character, driven, selfless individuals, and along with our veteran returners will help lead us back to our level of expectations. We plan on signing two more perimeter players to fill our needs there in the coming weeks."
Krass, a native of Gulfport, Miss., attends St. Patrick Catholic High School and was a four-year starter on a basketball team that won 24, 22, 29 and 30 games the last four seasons. He concluded his high school career with 1,750 points, 876 rebounds, 402 assists and 309 steals.
The shooting guard was a First Team All-State selection and named the MHSAA Most Valuable Player. He was also selected the Kenny Payne Classic Most Valuable Player, was the Hoopfest 3-point champion, named a team captain and played in the North vs. South All-Star Game.
Krass played AAU with Adidas MBA OSAG for one year and Community Saved for two years.
He has a 3.8 high school GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, Honor Roll and an Eagle Scout. His hobbies are playing basketball, working out and "hunting with my papaw."
His biggest athletic thrill to date is "playing in Jackson Coliseum in the Final Four."
Krass chose Oregon State because: "The coaches believe in me. Everyone I met felt like family. The campus felt like home. I believe I can help win games. I want to play against great competition, become a better basketball player, develop as a man and be under a great coach like Coach Tinkle."
Wayne Tinkle on Nick Krass: "Nick is one of the better all-around shooters we identified in this year's class, but he's more than that. He can put the ball on the floor to create for himself and his teammates, has a good midrange game, and the athleticism and skill to finish at the basket. He's also a willing defender on and off the ball and a great communicator on the floor. He'll bring a level of toughness we've been missing, especially defensively, and the ability to make shots within our system. He's a great kid from a remarkable family that we're thrilled to be bringing to Oregon State."
Pope, a native of Oakley, Calif., attends Prolific Prep in Napa, Calif., and became third all-time leading scorer in program history in just three years. As a sophomore, he averaged 15.3 points per game and helped lead the team to a Grind Session championship. As a junior, he was the sixth man and averaged 12.9 points per game. As a senior, he averaged 17.8 points per game and was selected to the All-Grind Session First Team and named the Under the Radar Player of the Year.
He attended Freedom High School in Oakley, Calif., in 2018-19 and became the first freshman in school history to be selected First Team All-League after averaging 20.7 points per game.
Pope played AAU with Team Arsenal for two years and Oakland Soldiers for one year.
His biggest athletic thrill to date is "winning the Grind Session championship or going to Geico Nationals."
Pope chose Oregon State because: "I love the basketball program and the area around Corvallis. It's a great opportunity and the best fit for myself and my athletic ability."
Wayne Tinkle on Jordan Pope: "Jordan is a true leader at the point guard position. He brings a level of competitiveness on both ends of the floor that sets the tone for the team. He's not afraid to guard the opponent's best players and never backs down from a challenge. Offensively he is a willing playmaker who can also shoot and score the ball. He plays with a passion that will make Beaver Nation proud. We're very excited to be adding him and his incredible family to ours."
Stevens, a native of Spokane, Wash., attends Gonzaga Prep and earned four letters in basketball and was a starter his junior and senior seasons. He was a two-time team captain and was part of a team that won the state championship in 2018-19.
The small forward was named Second Team All-State and a Greater Spokane League First-Team selection following his senior season when he averaged 19.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. He was a Greater Spokane League Second-Team selection following his junior year. He was the leading scorer in the state tournament and named to the All-State Tournament Team.
Stevens played AAU with No Mercy Elite Club for six years and Seattle Rotary for one year.
He has a 3.0 high GPA and his hobbies are listening to music, going on drives and going to the lake.
His biggest athletic thrill to date is "winning a state championship or winning the district championship on a halfcourt game winner."
Stevens chose Oregon State because: "I loved Corvallis, the Oregon State fans and it felt like home when I visited. I feel like I have a good relationship with Coach Tinkle and all of the other coaches."
Wayne Tinkle on Jayden Stevens: "Jayden is going to exciting player for us. He had some minor injuries that kept him off the AAU circuit after his sophomore year, and then a shortened COVID season, so he's been a bit under the radar. Jayden had to play the center position in high school, but we project him as a wing. He has good length and athleticism and plays with incredible pride and passion. He really competes out on the court. He can score at all three levels and really has an understanding of how to space the floor. His size and willingness to defend will allow us get back to guarding the way we're used to. Like the others, adding size and strength will dictate how soon Jayden will impact our program but the will and desire is already there. He's another young man from a wonderful family who will thrive in our program."
Oregon State Athletics strives to Build Excellent Authentic Visionary Student-Athletes (Go BEAVS).