CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle is realistic. This year's Beavers don't look much like the team that returned to the NCAA Tournament last season after a 26-year absence.
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle is realistic.
This year's Beavers don't look much like the team that returned to the NCAA Tournament last season after a 26-year absence.
Gary Payton II, son of the Oregon State and NBA great, has graduated and signed with the Houston Rockets. Guard Malcom Duvivier, who was to be a senior this season, has left the team for personal reasons and returned to his native Canada.
Tres Tinkle, the coach's son, is still recovering from a foot injury that left him out of the tournament appearance last season.
There's only one senior — forward Cheikh N'diaye, who is coming off shoulder surgery — on the roster. In all, nine players are new or didn't play last year.
"This is a completely different team, and right now we've got so many question marks that we don't have any expectations. It's way too early," the elder Tinkle said.
This is the coach's third season with the Beavers, who held media day on Tuesday. Practices started last week.
In his first season, Tinkle held open tryouts to fill roster spots. The Beavers went on to overachieve, going 17-14 and winning 15 straight games at Gill Coliseum. They finished eighth in the conference after being picked in the preseason to finish last.
The Beavers improved to 19-13 overall last season and finished sixth in the Pac-12, which sent a record seven teams to the NCAA Tournament. Oregon State lost to VCU 75-67 in the team's opening round.
Payton topped the team with averages of 16 points, 7.8 rebounds and five assists per game. Duvivier averaged 6.1 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists as a starter. The Beavers have also lost senior forwards Olaf Schaftenaar and Jarmal Reid, as well as guard Langston Morris-Walker.
"We've had really talented players in the past, and when they graduate you think, 'Oh my goodness how are we going to replace them?'" Tinkle said. "Then other guys step up, so we're going to expect that out of this group."
The younger Tinkle, a 6-foot-8 forward, averaged 13.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game before injuring his right foot in practice near the end of the regular season. He continues to recover from surgery on the foot and has not yet joined full practices.
Tinkle, who said he hopes to be able to go at full strength as early as next week, was voted co-captain of the team, along with fellow sophomore forward Drew Eubanks, who averaged 7.6 points and 4.7 rebounds last season.
Also returning is guard Stephen Thompson Jr., son of Beavers assistant Stephen Thompson, who averaged 10.6 points last season.
"We're still young, and we're not quite there yet physically, but we play well together," Tres Tingle said. "I think we've got a bunch of talent on the team. If we keep working every single day, keep humble and just buy in — we're all a great group of guys and good friends with each other — so even though we're young, I think we have some firepower."
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