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)