“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?