Years from now, there is a good chance that the success of Wayne Tinkle's tenure at Oregon State will be closely tied to what happened on the first Tuesday of September in 2014.
Tuesday afternoon, Tinkle and his staff received commitments from three Rivals150 players when No. 74 Stephen Thompson, No. 88 Tres Tinkle and No. 123 Derrick Bruce pledged to the Beavers. In doing so, they joined big man Drew Eubanks who ranks No. 133 nationally as members of Tinkle's first recruiting class.
The son of the head coach, Tinkle is finishing out his senior year at Missoula (Mont.) Hellgate while his dad makes the move to Corvallis. A highly versatile 6-foot-7 combo forward capable of playing inside and out, Tinkle brings a blue-collar mentality to the floor and is excited about the prospects of entering Oregon State as part of a recruiting class that will be as touted as any Beavers class in quite some time.
"Playing for my dad is something special," Tinkle said. "And we have a great class coming in with a chance to turn it around."
Tinkle is exactly right. The foursome that is headed to Oregon State has a chance to make a significant impact on the program. Not only are they talented, they are well balanced and address many needs.
In Thompson -- whose father Stevie is an assistant for the Beavers -- OSU is bringing in a high-level shooter with an outstanding feel for the game. Though he isn't the high-flying athlete that his father was during his playing days at Syracuse, Thompson is a sharp-shooter and sees the game at the highest level. He uses fakes, he uses changes of speed and he will only take his game to new levels once he adds Pac-12 level strength in the weight room.
"I really got along well with the coaching staff and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to play for my father," said Thompson. "I also wanted to be a part of something special in turning the program around."
A bit of a late bloomer from the Inland Empire area of California, Bruce earned his way into the Rivals150 with his play over the summer. He is a take-no-prisoners floor general who loves to attack the rim. He caught wind of Thompson and Tinkle's plans to announce while visiting Corvallis with them over the weekend and decided to join in on the fun.
"I heard that they were doing it on Tuesday when I was out there for my visit," said Bruce. "On my last day there, I decided that I was going to go to Oregon State too because I loved it and we decided to do it as a team since we are going to be on the same team moving forward."
Bruce feels like his attitude and game will be both welcomed and put to good use in the Beavers' offense.
"I think I can set people up and get people in the right spots," Bruce said. "I can hit jump shots and I can be a big contributor because I can go off the dribble anytime I want and I can pull the defense out. I bring heart to the table too."
Though he committed a week ago, the importance of Eubanks shouldn't be lost in all of the recruiting excitement. After focusing more on baseball in his earlier high school days, Eubanks has emerged as a fluid, athletic and skilled big man with huge upside himself.
At the end of the day, what is most important about the four Beavers commits is that they are all players who appear to be on the rise. None of them have maxed out physically at an early age and each of them has shown a little more to their game each time they take the floor.
There is no reason to think that trend won't continue into Thompson, Tinkle, Bruce and Eubanks college playing days and for that reason, Tuesday's big recruiting day will ultimately play a large role in whether or not Wayne Tinkle and his staff can turn around the Oregon State program.
Eric Bossi is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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