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For Oregon State, recruiting next year may be a family affair

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger
Bishop Montgomery guard Stephen Thompson, left, drives to the basket against Moreau Catholic guard Brandon Lawrence during the fourth quarter of the boys' Division 4 CIF basketball championship game Saturday, March 29, 2014, in Sacramento, Calif. Bishop Montgomery won 85-44
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Bishop Montgomery guard Stephen Thompson, left, drives to the basket against Moreau Catholic guard Brandon …

To ensure an impressive recruiting class next year, all Oregon State must do is cajole the sons of two members of its coaching staff into playing for their fathers.

Tres Tinkle, the son of new Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle, is a 6-foot-6 small forward rated the No. 124 recruit in Rivals.com's class of 2015 rankings. And Stephen Thompson Jr., the son of newly hired Oregon State assistant Stephen Thompson Sr., is a 6-foot-3 shooting guard rated No. 70 in the 2015 class.

Snaring the younger Tinkle and Thompson would be a huge score for an Oregon State program that will be talent-starved next season. It would give the Beavers a young foundation upon which to build after losing all five starters to transfer, graduation or the professional ranks this offseason.

Though it would be perfectly legal under NCAA rules for Oregon State to hire coaches in order to increase its chances of signing their sons, the fact that the elder Tinkle and Thompson have talented offspring is just a bonus in this case for the Beavers.

Oregon State plucked Tinkle from Montana last month because he has led the Grizzlies to three NCAA tournament appearances in the past five years and shown a knack for identifying under-the-radar prospects with upside. And Tinkle hired the elder Thompson as an assistant on Wednesday because the Los Angeles native and former Syracuse star has strong recruiting ties in fertile Southern California and flashed an ability to instill discipline on defense in his previous job as head coach at Cal State Los Angeles.

It's no shoo-in Tinkle and Thompson will be able to persuade their sons to come to Corvallis.

Tres Tinkle recently told Rivals.com he has scholarship offers from USC and Utah and has spoken with the likes of Gonzaga, Notre Dame, Stanford and Cal. And prior to his father's hiring at Oregon State, Stephen Thompson Jr. told Rivals.com he had been hearing from San Diego State, Arizona State, Stanford, Gonzaga and UConn, among others.

Those are programs against which Oregon State typically hasn't won many recruiting battles in recent years. If the new Beavers staff can reverse that trend and keep their own sons in Corvallis, it would be a huge step toward taking the program from the depths of the Pac-12 and making it into a contender in a few years.

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Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at daggerblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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