With all five starters from last year's underachieving 16-16 team having left and few promising bench players ready to inherit more playing time, Oregon State appears headed for a poor 2014-15 season
Rest assured, however, better days may be ahead.
New coach Wayne Tinkle secured a key commitment Tuesday from 6-foot-10 Drew Eubanks, arguably the top Class of 2015 prospect in the state of Oregon. The addition of the three-star center gives Oregon State a chance to assemble a formidable class given the ties the Beavers have to a pair of other top prospects.
Tres Tinkle, the son of the older Tinkle, is a 6-foot-6 small forward rated the No. 88 recruit in Rivals.com's class of 2015 rankings. And Stephen Thompson Jr., the son of Oregon State assistant Stephen Thompson Sr., is a 6-foot-3 shooting guard rated No. 74 in the 2015 class.
Both hold scholarship offers from numerous top programs out West, but both are thought to favor the Beavers. Oregon State is also heavily involved with three-star point guard Derrick Bruce.
If Oregon State lands the two coaches' sons, Eubanks and Bruce, that would be one heck of a debut class for Tinkle — the kind the Beavers could use as a foundation for the program's first NCAA tournament bid since the days of Gary Payton. Former coach Craig Robinson had some successful recruiting classes in Corvallis, but Tinkle has the reputation of being far better at devising a system to maximize his talent than Robinson was.
Regardless of what happens with Oregon State's other potential recruits, Eubanks is a significant addition.
A standout pitcher who will also play for Oregon State's baseball team, Eubanks only began dabbling in basketball in high school. His stock has risen dramatically the past few months as he has begun to develop a back-to-the-basket game to go with shot blocking and rebounding prowess.
Eubanks flashed enough upside during the July evaluation period to land offers from Washington and Washington State and interest from a handful of other programs. Rivals.com's Eric Bossi wrote Tuesday that Eubanks will make his debut today in the site's updated top 150 for the Class of 2015.
So Eubanks himself is a nice addition for Oregon State. And even more exciting for the long-struggling Beavers, he could be merely the first domino to fall.
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