Montana isn't widely known for pumping out a significant amount of high-major basketball recruits, but it appears there will be one coming out of the state in the 2015 class. Missoula (Mont.) Hellgate small forward Tres Tinkle began to reel in attention from several top programs last summer, and it's only continued during his junior season as he's currently averaging 21 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game.
At 6-foot-7 and roughly 205 pounds, Tinkle's versatility has college coaches excited.
"There have been a lot of Pac-12 schools calling," Tinkle said. "Every Pac-12 school except for Arizona, UCLA, Oregon and [the] Washington schools have been talking to me. The others are Davidson, Boston College, Brown, Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Gonzaga, Boise State and Rice. My offers are Montana, USC, Utah and Boston College."
Tinkle has a relatively strong connection to the University of Montana. His father, Wayne Tinkle, just happens to be the head coach of the Grizzlies. With the recent success of Doug McDermott playing for his father at Creighton, would Tinkle spurn high-major offers to play for his father?
"It would be special to play for my dad at Montana. He wants what's best for me, though. He understands it's my choice and wants me to be where I'll be happy at the end of the day."
Tinkle also has strong ties to the coaching staff at Utah.
"I know Utah's coaching staff really because two of their coaches were here at Montana and coached with my dad. Larry Krystkowiak and Andy Hill both coached with my dad, so I'm close with them. They really turned their program around this year and will only continue to get better. I like the way they play and I like the way they recruit."
USC was one of the first schools to offer Tinkle, and head coach Andy Enfield has been persistent in recruiting him.
"I was talking to Coach Enfield and he is a cool guy and seems like a great coach. He was telling me how it's tough in your first year at a new job, but he's got a good class coming in next year and hopefully a good 2015 class. He's confident they can build something there. I'm pretty interested in them."
Boston College offered Tinkle a scholarship, and Tinkle sees a program on the rise.
"I like Boston College a lot. I talked to Coach [Steve] Donahue a lot and his assistants a lot. They are having a slow year, but I think they will continue to grow because they are young and in such a powerhouse conference. They can compete with anybody though and beat Syracuse. I think they will be a top program in the ACC over the next few years."
Having had two sisters already go through the recruiting process and a father who is a college basketball coach, Tinkle has seen the recruiting process play out before. He'll use some of the lessons he's learned when making his own decision.
"I haven't put a whole lot of thought into when I'll decide. My dad being a coach and watching my sisters go through the process, they waited pretty late because my dad said you never know if a new school will get on you late. He doesn't want me to drag out until April, but I think anywhere from next fall until like February, unless I come back from one of my visits just in love with a school."
Tinkle has taken care of business in the classroom and has several top academic schools recruiting him. How much will he take each school's academic reputation into account?
"Academics are a factor, but not a huge factor in the school I pick. Basically, I'm just looking for the best of both worlds with basketball and school."
Dan McDonald is a contributing national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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