Corvallis, Ore. -- At the end of the 2018-2019 season, many Oregon State men's basketball players had a somewhat bitter taste in their mouths. Despite the best conference finish for the team in nearly 30 years, the Beavers were unceremoniously bounced from the Pac-12 Tournament in the second round by the University of Colorado, costing them a potential NCAA Tournament bid.
From there, forward Tres Tinkle and guard Ethan Thompson decided to test the waters of the NBA Draft, weighing options between the league and returning to school for a final year. Both players came back to Corvallis and with that the Beavers now have one of their deepest and most talented crops of players in the Wayne Tinkle era.
"They all bring different things and they're talented in their own way", says Coach Tinkle. "Love that we've got added depth, talent, and toughness. It's been a fun team to coach to this point."
"I think about what we have coming back, the new guys, we feel like we can do some special things" , Tres continues. "I think this is possibly one of the best teams we've had since we've been there so all of that stuff had a big influence on why I wanted to come back."
The Beavers also bring in plenty of firepower in the way of JUCO transfers such as 7 foot center Roman Silva and high school signees like Jarrod Lucas. Lucas, who was also coached by his father in high school, found common ground with the Thompsons and Tres which helped him sign in Corvallis.
"That was a big reason why I came to Oregon State; Coach Tinkle and Coach Thompson both coaching their own sons, my Dad coaching me", says Lucas. "It's been a really good experience and Tres has treated me like a younger brother."
Lucas, a scorer who is among one of the top scorers in CIF high school history, will be looked to as a possible stopgap in the wake of Stephen Thompson Jr.'s graduation.
"It's a big transition and leap (from the high school level) to the Pac-12", says Coach Tinkle. "Stevie's a heck of a player to try and replace. We hope Jarrod will get to that."
"Being young guys we might not make an immediate impact but we want to do whatever we have to do to help our team win", says Lucas.
Oregon State opens their season with an exhibition game against Carroll College on October 23rd at 7:00 p.m.