Oregon State could be without Tres Tinkle for as long as six weeks due to a broken bone in the forward’s wrist.
According to OregonLive.com, Tinkle, the son of head coach Wayne Tinkle, broke a bone in his right – non-shooting – wrist in a loss to Fresno State on Friday night. It is unclear if Tinkle will need surgery to repair the damage.
A CT scan is expected to be completed on Monday.
Tinkle suffered the injury when he fell awkwardly, using his right arm to break the fall, after trying to block a shot. He had 31 points prior to getting injured and, on the year, is averaging 20.2 points and 8.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.2 steals this season.
“Offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships.”
Whether or not you agree with the statement made by the late Paul “Bear” Bryant, there’s no denying the importance of defense when it comes to winning games. Teams can score as much as they want, but if they can’t get stops on the other end they’ll be in trouble. Ahead of the start of the 2015-16 season, we’ve put together our picks for the best defensive players in the country. Some will be shot blockers and others masters of the steal, and there will be a couple strong positional defenders as well.
Who’d we miss? Who should they replace? Feel free to leave your answers below.
G Kris Dunn, Providence
As a redshirt sophomore the 6-foot-4 Dunn averaged 2.7 steals per game, with his length and athleticism allowing the national Player of the Year candidate to make life difficult for opposing point guards. He can be a bit of a gambler at times, but overall he’s a very difficult matchup at a position where many point guards hover around the 6-foot mark.
G Ron Baker, Wichita State
If you don’t know Baker’s résumé by now, that’s on you. Baker is one of the nation’s top on-ball defenders, keeping his man out of the paint while also challenging scoring opportunities on the perimeter. As a junior Baker led the Shockers in both defensive rebounds (157) and blocked shots (27).
G Gary Payton II, Oregon State
Payton’s selection as Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year was a controversial one, with many believing that Arizona’s Rondae Hollis-Jefferson should have been the choice. But neither that nor the fact that Oregon State relied on a matchup zone to mask its lack of depth should not overshadow the impact “The Mitten” had defensively as he led the Beavers in steals (95) and was second in blocks (39).
F Hassan Martin, Rhode Island
The 6-foot-7 Martin became just the second player in URI history to record 100 blocks or more in a season, tallying 103 (3.1 bpg). The Staten Island native is also a good rebounder (7.7 rpg), and his length and athleticism allow Martin to play “bigger” than his height in the paint.
C Amida Brimah, Connecticut
The 7-footer from Ghana led the nation in blocked shots a season ago, recording 121 which was good for an average of 3.46 rejections per game (second nationally). Having a rim protector the caliber of Brimah helps teams be more active on the perimeter, as they have a big man capable of cleaning up mistakes.
SECOND TEAM ALL-DEFENSE
G Tyler Ulis, Kentucky
The 5-foot-9 Ulis is an absolute pest defensively, thanks to a combination of effort and quickness. Ulis played in a reserve role last season, which somewhat explains the average of just one steal per game. But defending isn’t all about impressive stats, and with Kentucky’s shot blockers Ulis can afford to be aggressive in defending the ball. We’re betting that his reputation grows in this area in 2015-16.
G Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia
Virginia’s pack line defense doesn’t lend itself to eye-popping individual stats. But that shouldn’t be used as a reason to overlook what the fifth-year senior does on the defensive end of the floor. One of the top players in the country, the 6-foot-5 Brogdon was also named to the ACC’s All-Defensive Team in 2014-15.
G Rapheal Davis, Purdue
Last season the Boilermakers’ team leader was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, winning the honor despite finishing the year with eight blocks and 28 steals. He isn’t going to dominate those statistical areas, but that doesn’t mask his ability to make life difficult for whoever head coach Matt Painter asks him to guard (usually the opponent’s best perimeter player).
F Skylar Spencer, San Diego State
Spencer is the rim protector on one of the nation’s best defenses, averaging 2.5 blocks per game as a junior. The 6-foot-10 Spencer finished the year with an individual block percentage of 12.7 per Ken Pomeroy’s numbers, a figure that ranked seventh nationally. Teams don’t get many chances to penetrate the SDSU defense, and once in the paint Spencer serves as quite the deterrent.
C Vashil Fernandez, Valparaiso
Fernandez receiving his fourth year of eligibility was a big boost to a program expected to make a return trip to the NCAA tournament. Last season the 6-foot-10 center earned Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year honors, as he ranked 11th in the country with an average of 2.9 blocks per game and sixth in block percentage (13.0).
Also considered: Anthony Gill (Virginia), A.J. Hammons (Purdue), Buddy Hield (Oklahoma), Brice Johnson (North Carolina), Jameel McKay (Iowa State), A.J. West (Nevada)
After a promising 17-14 campaign last season, Oregon State will start the 2015-16 season shorthanded.
Multiple players on the Beavers’ roster are currently sidelined, including two seniors. Freshman guard Kendal Manuel is also expected to miss the season and redshirt following a broken leg.
The latest injury to Oregon State came during Monday’s practice as head coach Wayne Tinkle announced that senior Daniel Gomis would miss 6-to-8 weeks with a broken bone in his hand. Another senior forward, Jarmal Reid, is out indefinitely with a stress fracture in his right foot.
These early-season injuries certainly won’t help the Beavers, but Gomis and Reid were role players and the team has plenty of returning talent. All five starters return for the Beavers and they bring in a top-20 recruiting class.
After beginning his college career at Tulsa, 6-foot-8 small forward Keondre Dew transferred to the City College of San Francisco. Dew has been recruited by a host of high-major programs since his move back to the west coast, and Sunday afternoon the CCSF basketball program announced that Dew has verbally committed to Oregon State.
Dew becomes Wayne Tinkle’s third commitment in the Class of 2016, joining combo guard JaQuori McLaughlin and power forward Ben Koné in Oregon State’s 2016 recruiting class to date. Dew’s verbal pledge comes on the heels of his official visit to Oregon State this weekend.
The San Bernardino, California native didn’t see much playing time in his lone season at Tulsa, playing an average of 5.5 minutes per game in 21 appearances for the Golden Hurricane.
Oregon State will lose five scholarship seniors at the end of the 2015-16 season, including wings Jarmal Reid and Langston Morris-Walker. The addition of the versatile Dew should help the Beavers account for those personnel losses while also supplementing what holdovers such as current freshman Tres Tinkle will bring to the table.
Back in September 2013 four-star guard JaQuori McLaughlin verbally committed to Oregon State as a high school sophomore, only to reopen his recruitment a few months later following the firing of then-head coach Craig Robinson. Two years later, McLaughlin has decided that Corvallis is the place for him after all, as on Friday he verbally committed to Wayne Tinkle’s program.
McLaughlin (Gig Harbor, Washington), who committed to Washington last November before reopening his recruitment in the spring, also considered Utah and Washington as options this time around.
The 6-foot-4 lefty can play either on or off the ball, which should mesh well with the guards Oregon State will have when he arrives on campus (Stephen Thompson Jr., Derrick Bruce, Kendal Manuel and Malcolm Duvivier among those players). And with his length and athleticism, McLaughlin could potentially have an impact for the Beavers defensively as well.
With Oregon State due to lose Gary Payton II, who was Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year last season, at the end of the 2015-16 campaign, adding McLaughlin is an important move for the program. McLaughlin is Oregon State’s second commitment in the Class of 2016, joining three-star power forward Ben Kone’.
Another prospect in the Class of 2016 has narrowed down his recruiting focus, with 6-foot-8 power forward Dontay Bassett announcing Friday morning that he’s trimmed his list to five schools. Bassett, a native of Oakland who attends Oldsmar Christian School in Florida, is now considering Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Nebraska and Oregon State.
Bassett is scheduled to officially visit Oregon State this weekend, with Wayne Tinkle’s program getting the forward’s first visit. The Beavers have a mixture of underclassmen and veterans in their current front court rotation, and that includes three seniors in Jarmal Reid, Olaf Schaftenaar and Daniel Gomis.
Fellow Pac-12 program Colorado also has multiple upperclassmen in its front court rotation, including seniors Xavier Johnson and Josh Scott. But unlike Oregon State, Colorado did not bring in a freshman front court player in its 2015 recruiting class and they’ve yet to land on in the 2016 class.
Arkansas, which is lacking in front court depth this season, suffered a blow when former 2015 signee Ted Kapita wasn’t cleared academically and eventually landed with the Las Vegas Dealers semipro franchise. The Razorbacks have just one scholarship underclassman in their front court in redshirt freshman Trey Thompson. Florida also has a need for front court depth, but they’ve got some young players in USF transfer John Egbunu and freshmen Keith Stone and Kevarrius Hayes.
As for Nebraska, the Huskers have a young front court with sophomore Jacob Hammond being their most experienced option at present time. Head coach Tim Miles also has a trio of freshmen in Jack McVeigh, Ed Morrow and Michael Jacobson competing for minutes in this year’s rotation.