Oregon State Basketball: Could Tres Tinkle compete for Pac-12 Player of the Year?

Returning from a season ending injury, Oregon State basketball’s forward Tres Tinkle will be a player to watch in the Pac-12 Player of the Year race.

Despite finishing at the bottom of the Pac-12 last season, Oregon State could be a dark horse in the conference this season. One of the main reasons for this great improvement will be the return of forward Tres Tinkle, who missed most of last season with an injury.

While most eyes will be on Allonzo Trier, Reid Travis, and Bennie Boatwright to win Pac-12 Player of the Year, Tinkle has an opportunity to surprise people. In the six games prior to his injury last season, Tinkle averaged 20.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 2.2 steals.

While the Pac-12 Conference’s competition is better than the teams he played, such as Fresno State and Nevada, Tinkle showed that he had improved from his solid freshman campaign.

What makes Tinkle so good is his ability to compete on the interior and spread the floor when needed. As a freshman, Tinkle shot 37% from three-point range and 52% from inside during conference play. He was also able to compete with the big Pac-12 forwards, averaging 5.6 rebounds. Tinkle is an opportunistic defender with an innate ability to force steals and block shots.

The 6’8” redshirt sophomore will join Drew Eubanks and Cheikh N’Diaye to form one of the better frontcourts in the conference. Eubanks was a Pac-12 All-Conference Honorable Mention selection a season ago, while N’Diaye was injured for most of the year.

Tres Tinkle will not be the favorite to win Pac-12 Player of the Year this season, but he has the ability to become a contender. His health will be key for the Beavers, as they have the talent to compete for an NCAA tournament bid.