Monthly Archives: May 2014

Recruit Focus: Cassius Peat

All information in this post is courtesy of  BeaverBlitz and Hudl.  Again, I highly recommend both of these sites for the best and latest information on Beaver Football recruiting.

All reviews are just MY OPINION, and need to be taken as such. The coaches know more than me, understand the team’s needs better than I do and most likely differ with my opinions. I am just doing this for fun.

Cassius Peat

CURRENT RIVALS RANKING: 3 Star (5.6)
PROJECTED FINAL RIVALS RANKING:
4 Star (5.8)
HT: 6′ 4″
WT: 235
POS: Defensive End or Tight End
HOMETOWN: Tempe, Arizona
OTHER OFFERS: ASU, Boston College, California, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, ducks, Texas A&M, UCLA, Washington, Washington State

Hudl Profile

Position The Official Candy Report Sees this player at: Defensive End
What Beaver this player reminds us of: Scott Crichton, Dorian Smith

STRENGTHS
– Good first step and punch
– Legs drive through the ball carrier on tackles
– Effective with his hands in bull rush
– Able to shed blockers well
– Aggressive at the point of attack and appears to be very strong
– Also uses a rip move well, leaning into blocker
– High motor, tenacious attitude in following the play
– Doesn’t get moved easily and maintains leverage
– Uses helmet will in contact at point of attack
– Good vision and balance in traffic
– Uses a quick spin move effectively to disengage with blockers.

QUESTIONS
– Doesn’t have high top end speed
– Predominantly uses two moves (bull rush and rip)
– Played with slightly high pad level
– Can be distracted from the play when he dominates a one on one battle

SUMMARY:
I put some questions in here because everyone has things to work on, but honestly, Peat is a pretty amazing player.  While I didn’t see him use a push pull often or a swim move, those can be learned if he needs them.  Cassius is so aggressive, especially with his hands, that he will be able to do a lot with just refinement of his techniques.    He is not a speed rush end, so don’t expect Clowney like numbers, but he fits well with what OSU does. I can see him adding twenty pounds and playing outside and inside like both Scott Crichton and Dylan Wynn have.

In watching the Brophy College Prep flim, Cassius is constantly lifting linemen off their feet with his punch and knocking helmets back. While I cannot hear it, I bet it practice when he hits guys there is either a huge pop or a deadening thud.  Throughout the films you see him just pound guys and never quit. There is a reason that he has so many premium offers.  He will be a GREAT 3-4 rush backer or be a guy that can play every position on the line for the Beavers.

He is A LOT like Scott Crichton in that he abuses guys and forces a lot of poor decisions by opposing linemen.  There is also a healthy amount of attitude in the way he plays which is great for keeping your teammates engaged and pumped up.  I can imagine it is not fun going against him for opposing teams.   In that same vein, there is a clip of him making a block down field as a tight end where he just destroys the guy he is blocking.  He then stops completely.  While I am sure he was pumped up about crushing a guy, a player should only stop when the play does, in my opininon. it was not going to effect that play as they were running away from everyone, but a guy as passionate as Cassius needs to make sure he keeps focus during the entirety of the play.  He does that in almost every play there, but that one stuck out to me as a good and bad example and a play I may have left off my film.

It is not like people are not going to know he is amazing by all the other film there.

This will be a tough land for the Beavers as the Peat name is well known in College Football, with his brothers playing for ASU and Stanford. Landing Cassius would be a HUGE pickup for the Beavers and I can see him making an immediate impact. If he works on his quickness off the line and refining his moves he will probably dominate his league this year, get more offers and move up the ranking lists.

My silly, shot-in-the dark guess is that should Peat come to Oregon State, he has the potential to be a 3-year starter (and maybe make the rotation on the defensive line and special teams his first year) and will most likely play Defensive End.

Recruit Focus: Keven Dixon Jr.

All information in this post is courtesy of  BeaverBlitz and Hudl.  Again, I highly recommend both of these sites for the best and latest information on Beaver Football recruiting.

All reviews are just MY OPINION, and need to be taken as such. The coaches know more than me, understand the team’s needs better than I do and most likely differ with my opinions. I am just doing this for fun.

Keven Dixon Jr

CURRENT RIVALS RANKING: 3 Star (5.5)
PROJECTED FINAL RIVALS RANKING:
3 Star (5.7)
HT: 6′ 6″
WT: 275
POS: Offensive Tackle or Defensive Tackle
HOMETOWN: Buena Park, Calif.
OTHER OFFERS: ASU, Colorado, Colorado State, Fresno State, San Diego State and Utah

Hudl Profile

Position The Official Candy Report Sees this player at: Offensive Tackle
What Beaver this player reminds us of: Gavin Andrews, Jeremy Perry

STRENGTHS
– Really good foot drive on contact
– Very strong upper body, and uses leverage on smaller players
– Very aggressive and violent  throughout the block
– Finishes blocks well, his players stay blocked and are not coming back to make the play
– Seems to work well in space and is athletic enough to get solid blocks at the second level
– Will not be outworked on a block. Continues to up his intensity level throughout blocks
– Solid footwork in few pass protection shots, especially after contact.

QUESTIONS
– While he seems very strong, I would like to see a more aggressive point-of-attack punch. Tends to absorb players and then fight them off
– High pad level out of his stance
– Not sure about the talent level of his competition. Was going up against much smaller players on defense.
– So little pass protection film is kind of worrisome
– Hand placement would draw more holding calls in college
– Seems to latch on rather than resetting hands to combat adjusting defender

SUMMARY:
I think that Keven has great potential at the Division 1 Level. He has the prototypical size for a tackle and appears to have the nasty streak that Coach Cav loves. While I have questions about his pad level and hand placement, those are are correctable in time. His attitude, his vision in space, and athleticism are harder to teach — and I think he has those in droves.

If you watch the Schurr High specific film, you get a good idea of how well Keven does getting to the second level, and really staying on his blocks. There are a lot of good blocks in this film that show his leg drive after contact, and the way he reloads in a stalemate. I like this film more than the St. Paul film because he is just so much physically superior to the St. Paul players that, while he does really well, it seems to be just a case of his superior athletic ability and size.

I would also recommend watching the end zone view films as you can see a more accurate measure of his speed and decision making abilities. There is maybe one case where he is out in space and has to hunt for someone to block while the play is being made behind him, but for the most part, he does a good job of latching on to a defender and driving his legs to maintain contact.

Currently, Keven is rated as a Rivals 5.5- or 3 star-level prospect, and I am not sure if he will be able to climb up enough to be a 4-star guy. But if he has a solid senior campaign, he could end up ranked higher than many expect. His offer sheet is impressive and he is being treated as one of Oregon State’s top targets, so I imagine that Coach Cav really likes what he sees as well.

My silly, shot-in-the dark guess is that should Dixon come to Oregon State, he has the potential to be a 3-year starter and will most likely play offensive tackle.

Weekend Notes

1. Thank you to all who have served and their families.
I come from a military family.  My dad was in the Navy for 17 years as a pilot, and two of his brothers were also pilots.  My uncle Dave flew in Vietnam and was on a number of dangerous missions.  Fortunately for us, none of them lost their lives during their times of service, but they all knew many that did, and it was a very real cost that sometimes we don’t recognize. Regardless of how anyone feels, the fact that I can write this, on a blog about something so trivial as one college’s athletic teams, is a testament to all that those before us have fought for.

Heck, even our recent apathetic voting history is largely due to the complacency that or service men and women have allowed. They are so good at their jobs, of protecting us and protecting our rights, that we don’t feel the same urgency and fear in voting that our neighbors in India and Egypt (for example) feel. While I wish that would change, the great work our military services do in protecting us and our constitutional rights is amazing.

Free speech, for instance, is not a universal right in every country. People die for something we use every day without a second thought.  So thank you to all that have served and to the families of those that have lost loved ones in our name.  While it is something that we should think about more than one day a year, the fact that we need a reminder is a good sign that they are doing a great job protecting us.

2. Baseball rules
Baseball is a long season, and the victories at Washington took their toll both emotionally and physically.  With Pat Casey having to change up rotation roles, get players coming off injuries work so they are not too rusty while resting those that are dinged up so they are ready, left the team visibly less focused than they were against UW.

Which is natural.  People can worry about the bats the last seven games, and they should, but four of those games came after clinching a share of the title and the other three were against some really great pitching.  Losing is never good, but when you have the pitching that OSU has, it fixes a lot of what ails you.  Both Fry, Wetzler and Moore all worked in weird changes to their schedule and that took its toll to a degree.

But with regionals coming to town and the start of the playoffs,  one thing that Pat  Casey does an amazing job of is getting his team organized and focused in the post season. In 2006 they lost a series to ASU late and then lost the last game of the season to UCLA.  In 2007 they lost 8 of their last 12 games.  So while the slump is concerning and you want to win every game you can, there is no doubt that the focus that was lost the last week and a half will be regained if Pat Casey has to physically put it in the players.

3. Football is coming
While it is not yet June, Memorial Day weekend is my starting point in preparing for the season. This means that we will start producing some features that spotlight some key players.  I will hopefully be able to get some direct quotes, but we will see.  The other part of this is that this is the time of year that the coaches are out recruiting in full force and visiting camps.  This means that recruiting will make a huge uptick in news.

As I have made no secret of my affiliation and adoration for BeaverBlitz.  While many balk at the price tag, the information you can get there about recruiting, baseball and football in general is well worth the marginal fee. Right now they just released their initial 2015 Recruiting Guide and it has a lot of great information available.  So check it out and I think they have a gear special going right now if you do the annual order, so it is a good time to get on board!

I really like this Steven Nelson guy…

Two years ago, on December 12, 2012 (12/12/12), Steven Nelson committed to Oregon State University to play corner with the Beavers.

Nelson said this to Brad Hoiseth of the Rivals Network:
“I felt like it was the best fit for me,” Nelson said. “Rod Perry is a great coach and I feel like he can prepare me for the next level.”

The more I read about Steven the more I realized his mission was the NFL.  No matter what school he went to, be it his initial pick of Georgia to his eventual home of Oregon State, he was viewing them as tools to reach this goal.  He wanted the best coach he could find to help him in this quest and that was Rod Perry.  That is not to say that Steven is not a great teammate or a true Beaver, it just means that he was not going to be wooed by ‘bling’ or facilities, by location or by perks. At least that was my impression of him, and I respected him for that.  Many young men looking at schools are not as focused as Steven appeared to be.

Of course this is all just a few thoughts from a few words reported on an online recruiting site.  I don’t know Steven, nor could I pick him out of a crowd unless he was in his uniform.  So it was mostly just a gut feeling.

In August of 2013, i went to some practices to see what I thought about the team.  I remember constantly seeing this guy, Nelson, fighting like crazy every time he went against anyone. I saw him push, shove, scratch and claw to keep the ball from staying a completion.  He was visibly determined and constantly working to get better. I was very impressed with him and wondered how he would do in 2013.

He did very well.  His six interceptions were tied for the third most in the country and he improved as the season went on in run support and in his ability to close off a section of the field.  If you watch the way the season went, Nelson was picked on early in the season because Reynolds was a risky option to throw against.  As the season went on, more and more passes were going at Reynolds side because Nelson was picking off passes and making plays.  While many worry about his coverage and run stopping, Steven did very well last year, especially as opposing quarterbacks had a lot of time to make the throws they wanted.

So while I was impressed with Nelson as a signee, impressed with his approach to practice and impressed with him on the field.  Judging by his comments to the media and on Twitter, Steven felt he still had a lot to work on and a lot to do.

Between daily reminders of the work he is doing, of his ‘Rise and grind’ and his thankfulness for the day, Steven also tweets items like:

“Wise man told me to keep everything out of your life that is a potential danger to your path God set for you”

Watching Nelson this spring at practice, he was tenacious, hands constantly moving and punching to keep receivers from being able to get a hold of him.  Fighting for balls after the catch to turn a sure completion to a drop or, if need be, a fumble. He was vocal, active and worked with the other corners.  Mostly, he was one of the guys that stood out to me after every practice as a guy who made the most of his reps.

If the defensive line is improved, as I feel it will be, and if the linebackers are as good as we hope, Nelson could be one of the key pieces of Oregon State returning to the more defensively dominant squads in recent memory like the 2007 and 2012 teams. Until the ball is snapped and the team takes the field, there is no way to guess what it will be like.  The Jeckyl and Hyde nature of OSU’s defense since 2010 has shown that there can be seismic shifts in defensive proficiency, but if I am going to look for a cornerstone for the defensive turnaround, then I am looking for someone with a work ethic and attitude like Steven Nelson.

I just wish he could have come to Oregon State sooner.

Reser Stadium, home of the Oregon State Beavers

Second set of Spring Showcase photos

Here are more Spring Showcase photos.  Pretty great set by Dave McLean:

 

Tinkle’s First Win

“Live Like Champions…”

That was new OSU men’s basketball coach Wayne Tinkle’s rally cry during his introductory press conference Wednesday night. Those three words were among the highlights of the short, but inspiring media session.

Tinkle earned his first victory: he won the press conference. 

He said all the right things and touched on the important things: character, community involvement, discipline, toughness, and tradition. He has a strong presence; straightforward, but affable.

Now comes the hard part: winning.

But after listening to Tinkle, you get the sense he can get it done more so than the past three OSU coaches. He has the aura of someone that knows what it takes to build a program, achieve success, and sustain that success, without compromising core values.

You also understand why Bob DeCarolis chose to hire Tinkle over more flashier hires. Tinkle’s makeup fits OSU and Corvallis. He seems very much in the mold of Pat Casey and Mike Riley. But I think he might have a bigger personality (literally, as well) than those two, which will be fun. He spent Wednesday afternoon mingling with OSU students in the MU Quad and handed out AMP drinks. How cool is that? Some of the photos students posted on social media of them interacting with Tinkle were awesome!

Here’s five quick takeaways from the presser.

He’s tall: Tinkle is a legit 6-10. Is he the tallest Division I coach? I don’t know, yet, how hands on Tinkle is during practices, but if he pretty active, the Beavers’ post players should be excited. They have someone who can show them the ropes — and possibly give them a game.

Credit where it’s due: Tinkle was quick to thank people at Montana for his success. Very classy. More importantly, I was impressed that credited Craig Robinson for the work he did at OSU. Hopefully, he set an example — and that more fans realize Craig’s accomplishments.

Everyone part of team: Loved, loved his bit about how everyone, from the people who mow lawns to the people who serve food to local business owners, are a part of the team. He clearly understands the importance of getting involved beyond the court and university.

Offensive freedom: Was excited that Tinkle discussed his offense philosophy. In a nutshell, if the players rebound and play tough defense, he wants to be hands off offensively. Players have to earn that freedom, but he said he wants them to work hard and have fun!

Starts at home: The Pacific Northwest is a basketball hotbed, but it has been awhile since the Beavers have landed an Oregon prep standout (Seth Tarver), so it’s refreshing that Tinkle said he’s focusing on backyard talent first. It’s going to be easier said than done, but it’s a start.

What stands out to you about Coach Tinkle so far after listening to him?

 

A few thoughts from this week…

Wayne Tinkle:
The more I think about this hire the more I like it. The problem is there are a lot of unknowns.   Many point to Scott Rueck as the blueprint, and there are similarities. If that is the case, then be prepared for a bad year next year.

Scott led a very thin Beaver team to a 9-21 record after the LaVonda Wagner era left the team with just one player on the squad.  That was far more extreme than what Tinkle will have to work with, but he is in danger of losing this class of recruits, and will take over a team that lost its top five scorers from the year before.

During Rueck’s second year, the Beavers jumped to a fifth-place finish at 9-9 in the conference, the largest single season jump in win total in the nation. There is some talent at Oregon State for Tinkle to work with, and look at players like Gomis and N’diaye to be the biggest beneficiaries of the new regime. Is that enough to make the jump to a middle-of-the-conference contender in year two? We will see.

Year three was the money year for Rueck as he led his class of freshmen into the second round of the NCAA tournament. That is what we hope for Tinkle. That in three years, he has an NIT- or NCAA-level team. It is not an easy task — and to think so undermines the incredible job that Rueck did. We will see if TInkle is the man or not, but I think he has a good shot if he can surround himself with assistant coaches who can get talent to Oregon State.

As he showed at Montana, Wayne Tinkle doesn’t need elite talent to win, but to deal with the day-to-day grind of a very tough Pacific 12 Conference, he is going to need a major upgrade from what he had at Montana.

Craig Robinson:
One thing that I don’t think Craig ever gets credit for is stopping the bleeding in men’s hoops. If Wayne can turn the program around in three years, it will certainly point to him being an upgrade as a coach, but thanks to Craig, he will not have to go as far as he would have in 2008.

I have often said that Robinson was an A+ hire in everything except, well, coaching. He was a great culture fit, he was a good ambassador for the university, and was well liked among his peers on campus. He was also a very good fundraiser and managed the team so well that even during a disappointing 2013 campaign, they were one of the highest profiting teams in the conference. Heck, he had taken the team so far that a season that would have been statistically the second best in 20 years prior to his hire is seen as disappointing. So it is not like he was an unmitigated disaster. He just was over-matched on the hardwood floor by his peers in the conference.

If only Coach Rob been just a little bit better of a game manager. OSU had four conference games decided by five points last season that could’ve been wins, and those wins would have saved his job and got him into the NIT at least!  So he was not far from being successful.  Unfortunately for Robinson, he didn’t get those wins and it was time for a change. So welcome to the Wayne Tinkle era at Oregon State. I wish Wayne the best, but I also am thankful for the effort that Craig put in at Oregon State. He has done more than any of his predecessors for Oregon State hoops, but unfortunately it was not enough.

John Garrett:
The more I hear about this guy, the more I love him. We will see come game time what his effect on the team is, but his excitement in practice, his attention to detail, and his hard work on the recruiting trail has been inspiring.  If nothing else, I hope he continues to drive the other coaches to focus on the little things and to help increase the pace and urgency around the Valley Football Center. In the last few years, Oregon State has been close, just a few points, away from a BCS bowl.

Those little things and little details, like the drill they do to protect the ball when in the pocket or running outside of it, could have been the difference in the 2012 Stanford game. The pace change might have been the difference in the end of the first half of the Alamo Bowl to get the needed extra points. Or maybe at the end of the Civil War to get a play in before the review  of Cooks’ fumble out of bounds, and the Beavers get a chance for a much needed seven more points. The ball security drills might have been helpful in the second half of the 2013 Stanford game,  so that the Beavers don’t give up what ends up being the game winning points off a special teams fumble.

The little things matter. If nothing in the offense changes in terms of play calls and system, but they just become more detail oriented and eliminate silly mistakes, this team could win 10 or more games. If the defense is better this year, I think they will. Life is about the details, and we need more of that in these parts. Garrett is trying to bring that around, and I think that is the best news I have heard in a long time.

Tinkle Hire Will Define Bobby D’s Legacy

They call him Bob the Builder.

Under his watch, Reser Stadium has been expanded and renovated. Gill Coliseum received a facelift, and the long-rumored basketball practice facility became a reality. The Omaha Room was added to Goss Stadium, and more changes are on the way. The Whyte Track & Field Center was built. And don’t forget the Sports Performance Center.

It’s quite an impressive list — and I’m probably forgetting some other facilities improvements.

And OSU athletic director Bob DeCarolis also has done a good job of working to eliminate the OSU athletic department’s debt, even though his fiscal prudence sometimes irks members of Beaver Nation because it sometimes means OSU is a step or two behind in the Pac-12 facilities race. Or prevents OSU for investing more of money in marketing.

However, DeCarolis’ legacy will be defined by one decision: Wayne Tinkle.

The majority of Beaver fans have not been happy with DeCarolis’ handling of OSU hoops. The contract extension to Jay John, the LaVonda Wagner fiasco, the hiring of Craig Robinson, the extending of Robinson’s contract, and then the back-and-forth on Robinson this offseason.

There’s been a lot of questionable hires and decisions when it comes to hoops — and it’s a tough pill for Beavers fans to swallow considering it wasn’t that long ago the Beavers were ranked in the top-10 in wins. Not to mention, OSU owes both Wagner and Robinson quite a chunk of money.

And while Scott Rueck appears to have been a great hire for the women’s team, men’s basketball is the second biggest money-maker, and should be the second biggest attraction, behind football. A cash-strapped athletic department such as OSU’a needs its men’s program to be successful and ultimately, generate as much money as possible.

The more the basketball program can support the athletic department, the more money there will be to pump into football, enabling OSU to better keep up in the arms race so to speak. That west grandstand at Reser, and the inside of Gill, aren’t going to renovate themselves.

That’s why if the Tinkle hire doesn’t pan out, DeCarolis’ overall body of work will be tainted. Most fans will remember his failure to turn around the basketball program, first and foremost, whether it’s unfair or not. And if he’s still at the helm of the athletic department, he should lose his job. Turning around a basketball program shouldn’t be this hard or take this long.

Tinkle was a solid hire, but considering some of the names that were associated with this coaching search, DeCarolis needs this one to end up a great one. Because it wasn’t the splashiest hire, a lot of fans are still in wait-and-see mode, and If the wins don’t come a couple seasons from now, it will appear DeCarolis misfired again.

So while all eyes will be on Tinkle, don’t forget that the pressure is on Bob DeCarolis as well. This is his defining moment as OSU athletic director. (RW)

Tinkle and Recruiting

Now that I’ve had time to settle down and look at Wayne Tinkle in an objective matter, I’m warming up to him. He seems to fit OSU culture-wise. Meaning that he stresses academics and high character. He also has a good sense of humor.

Most importantly, anyone who can lead Montana to three tourney appearances, including two consecutive 2nd-round appearances, can flat out coach. Defense also will be a focal point under Tinkle, which is much welcomed after the Beavers’ less-than-ideal defensive presence in recent seasons.

But one big concern remains for me about Tinkle: Can he recruit?

Sure, the Pac-12 is more prestigious than the Big Sky, OSU has better facilities, OSU has (or had) tradition, and there will be plenty of playing time to sell. So it should be easier going than Montana.

But it’s worth looking at Tinkle’s recruiting classes at Montana (using Rivals rankings).

  • 2007: 1 three-star; 1 two-star; 1 no-star
  • 2008:  2 two-stars; 4 no-stars
  • 2009: 1 three-star; 2 no-stars
  • 2010: 1 two -star; 3 no-stars
  • 2011: 2 no-stars
  • 2012: 2 no stars
  • 2013: 1 no-star
  • 2014 : No signees as of May 19.

As we all know, stars don’t tell the entire story when it comes to recruiting. Also, there’s multiple ways of interpreting these numbers. Montana probably isn’t the easiest place to recruit to, which makes the fact that Tinkle has led the Grizzlies to the tourney three times even more impressive. Also, players obviously must develop under Tinkle.

However, two three-stars in eight years isn’t going to cut it in the Pac-12.

The level of talent up and down the conference is much higher than in the Big Sky. Tinkle will need to land multiple three-stars or better each year if the Beavers are to make noise.

Say what you will about Craig Robinson, but he was able to land solid classes — despite never winning consistently. Case in point, the four players who made up OSU’s 2014 class were all three stars. That’s more than Tinkle landed during his entire time at Montana.

Speaking of which, can Tinkle salvage any of OSU’s class? Three recruits have re-opened their commitments, and one is waiting to talk with Tinkle before deciding. If Tinkle can keep half of those commitments, it would be considered a success. If I had to choose two recruits that I want most to come to OSU, it would be Cameron Oliver and Gary Payton II.

I have a feeling Tinkle can put my recruiting fears to rest. Getting his son Tres, a top 150 player, to follow him to OSU, would be a good start. Regardless, it will be interesting to see Tinkle’s first several recruiting classes at the Pac-12 level.

If he recruits better players than he did at Montana, with his knack for developing players, the Beavers could take the step forward they desperately need to. But if Tinkle struggles, it could be another disappointing era for the Beavers. (RW)

What a difference a few weeks makes

Three weeks ago, I was planning on writing a few stories about baseball before pushing headfirst into summer football excitement. There would have been an article about how amazing the baseball season was and how much I was looking forward to football.

Now, as we are on the cusp of Oregon State hiring Wayne Tinkle this morning as its head coach, we are also on the verge of the Beavers getting a National Seed and winning the Pac-12 in baseball after an amazing series against the University of Washington this weekend.

So while I will still post about football in the near future, the national momentum of the Beavers baseball team, coupled with the excitement of a new basketball coach has me a little distracted.

Wayne Tinkle:
This name may not be super familiar to many of you, but here is his resume:

– 158–89 in 8 seasons at his Alma-mater Montana
– Three NCAA Tournament Invites in the last five years
– 1 CBI Tournament Invite
– 2 times advancing to the second round of the NCAA tournament
– His teams have finished 3rd or higher in the Big Sky conference 7 of his 8 years at Montana.
– He has finished 1st or second in four of the last five
– He has had four 20 win seasons
– He has only had one losing season, and never had below a .500 conference record.

Wayne has experience as a college player and played 12 years in Europe. He also has been able to get JC talent to Montana and get the occasional 3-star prospect to come to Missoula and play for him. The biggest part of Tinkle’s resume that sticks out to me is his teams making the second round of the NCAA tournament twice. It is not just that he made it in, but as a team that was an 8 seed or below, that means his teams beat upper seed teams twice.  While wins in division are all relative, it is the wins you get when you step out that show how your team is stacking up nationally. In 2010, his Grizzlies beat UCLA in L.A. and beat Oregon State.

The biggest issue is not if he can coach, it is if he can get top talent to come to Oregon State and can win enough to put butts in seats.  This is not a sexy hire, despite him winning Sexiest Coach in America. People are not going to bombard the ticket office like they would have for Ben Howland. Fortunately, Craig Robinson left Tinkle with a program that makes money, and every win that Tinkle hopefully gets, will bring a few people at a time to the games. And every one of those people is pure profit.

I think Tinkle is a good hire, as hires go. I don’t think it is a home run in terms of instant credibility, but it is probably a double or triple. Assuming he can recruit, I am confident that this is a coach that can get them to the NCAA tournament. That is a big if, and like every hire OSU has had since Ralph Miller left, there is excitement, hope, and apprehension. As the last few hires have come and gone, the apprehension is stronger than the hope and excitement combined.

Hopefully Wayne Tinkle is ready to roll up his sleeves and get rolling because the cheers of Gill have not died, they just need a reason to be heard again.

Baseball:
This weekend was a dominating series by the Beavers pitchers. While OSU did drop the first game, the huskies were held scoreless for 19 innings and didn’t get an RBI the whole weekend.  Mistakes plagued the Beavers on Friday and Saturday, though the electric walk off double by Logan Ice erased any bad feelings left over from the miscues.

The big takeaways from this weekend, in my mind, is that Washington is the best team that OSU has faced and that OSU has enough weapons to beat anyone. While the offense was sloppy, and potential runs were left on base, picked off, or left on due to great pitching and poor execution of hit and runs, the arms of the Beavers were more than enough to make sure that even one run was enough to get the job done. Last week, the bats came alive late in games. The week before it was a combo deal with timely hitting and solid pitching.

Against UW, it was an arm battle on both sides and OSU showed that they have the arms to get it done even against top talent. From here on out, it is not about dominance, it is about wins — and the Beavers have all the tools to win big or eek them out. Overall, it looks like a great time to be hitting your stride.  For those that are not sure, winning 15 of 16 games is the definition of hitting your stride.