On Sunday, 6-foot-8, 212-pound UMASS forward Seth Berger announced that he would be transferring to Oregon State University for his senior season. He will be eligible to play right away as a graduate transfer.
BeaversEdge.com spoke with Berger in the Q&A segment below.
What went into your decision to leave UMASS and look for a new option?
Berger: "I'm from Seattle, and when I went out there [to UMASS] in high school, it was great and where I wanted to be. I really liked it and enjoyed my four years there. When I found out that I had an opportunity to maybe come closer to home, that was a big thing. Coach Tinkle recruited me at Montana when I was in high school, so I had a relationship with him. I knew him a little bit."
What was this second recruiting process like? What other schools were interested and how did you get in contact with coach Tinkle again?
Berger: "I talked to San Diego a little bit, but it didn't go as deep as it did with Oregon State. Seattle was talking with me, but their head coach got fired. The big thing for me was Tinkle showed a lot of interest, talked with me, and asked me to come on a visit. I stopped talking with San Diego and Seattle fell through with the coaching change."
You visited Oregon State this past weekend. What did you think about the visit?
Berger: "It was great. Being from the Northwest and being able to go back was great. I had never been to Corvallis. When I played AAU, I played in Portland, but I had never been to Corvallis. I really liked it. Being able to start my masters degree [at Oregon State] was important. It just feels like a great fit with coach Tinkle, the rest of the coaching staff, and the players. My parents can just drive down and I have a lot of family on the west coast."
Since you only have one season left to play, finding a new home that offers you playing time right away must have been important. What did coach Tinkle and the staff have to say about that during your visit?
Berger: "I'll be one of the older guys. The team is fairly young, so as an older guy, I can bring experience and leadership. That's a big thing that I'm going to harp on when I get out there. I've been to the NCAA Tournament as a freshman, so to be able to bring that and provide competition to the guys was a big thing. I'm want to bring the younger guys with me and provide contributions on the floor as well."
Did you get to meet some of the players on your visit?
Berger: "Yes, I did. I got to play pick up with the guys, which was great. I hung out with Tres, coach Tinkle's son, Kendal, Ronnie and those guys. They made me feel very welcomed, which went into my decision as well. I'll only have one year, so I want to make a good connection with those guys."
When will you enroll at Oregon State?
Berger: "My enrollment process starts now. I'm working with somebody over there as far as applying so that will take a little bit. I plan on getting to campus sometime in June."
What do you want Oregon State fans to know about your game and what to expect from you?
Berger: "I'm coming in as a winner; that's what I plan to do. No matter what my personal stats say, what I can offer is winning. My role will be more clearly defined when I get out there this summer and get practicing with the guys, but the main thing is that I'll bring grit, toughness, and experience. I'm happy to bring success to this program, and I'm happy to be on board.