Family ties help Oregon State get three commitments on Tuesday

By Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer

Wayne Tinkle was hired in May after 13 seasons at Montana. (USATSI)
Wayne Tinkle was hired in May after 13 seasons at Montana. (USATSI)

When Oregon State hired Wayne Tinkle as its new head coach, the Beavers were essentially guaranteed to land his son, Trey Tinkle.

And when Tinkle hired Stephen Thompson as an assistant coach, it was assumed Stephen Thompson Jr. would end up in Corvallis as well.

Both decisions came to fruition on Tuesday night, when Tinkle, Thompson Jr. and point guard Derrick Bruce all committed to Oregon State.

It was one of the biggest single-day hauls we've seen in the recruiting world in some time, and it's one that will help in turning around Oregon State under Tinkle.

Tinkle is a 6-foot-6 small forward from Hellgate (Mont.), ranked No. 65 in the 247Sports Composite. He's a skilled lefty who can make plays in different ways. He can line up at either spot in the frontcourt, given his length and motor in a potentially smaller lineup.

Thompson Jr. will bring shooting to Oregon State. The 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Bishop Montgomery (Calif.) is ranked No. 60 in the 247Sports Composite, and he's only expanded his offensive game.

"My dad said, ‘If you and Stevie come to OSU you both would have the green light,'” Tinkle told ESPN.com, seemingly semi-jokingly.

While Tinkle might have been kidding with that quote, it's not far from the truth. He and Thompson Jr. will be the most talented players on the roster. They will both get major minutes right off the bat, and could potentially start from day one.

That's not it, though. Reclassified 2015 point guard Derrick Bruce also made a pledge to the Beavers, and the consensus from people on the West coast is that Bruce is one of the more underrated scoring point guards in the class. The 6-foot-3 Bruce will be at Elev8 Prep (Fla.) next year.

Those three will combine with Drew Eubanks, a talented 6-foot-9 big man who committed last week, as the foundation for Oregon State moving forward. Eubanks is a sleeper from Oregon, and a borderline top-100 player in the 247Sports Composite.

When Tinkle was hired at Oregon State in May to replace Craig Robinson, there were some concerns about how well he could recruit high-major players on a consistent basis. After all, he played at Montana, went overseas, and then was an assistant and head coach at Montana for 13 seasons.

He's answered some of those questions already. Sure, he was fortunate that his son was a four-star prospect, but he made the decision to hire Thompson – a decision that will pay off with more than just a commitment from his son. Bruce will be a quality pickup, and Eubanks seems to have everyone excited. And if those West coast players have success right off the bat with the Beavers, it will open up some eyes in the Pacific Northwest and in California. Bringing on Gregg Gottlieb -- who helped to land plenty of talent at California -- as an assistant was also a key step for Tinkle.

Another plus is that there are no seniors on this season's roster. While that means it will be a rough debut season in Corvallis for Tinkle, since the current talent level isn't great, a foundation can be built for the future at Oregon State.

It just so happens that family ties played a major factor in building that future.

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