Wednesday the Oregon State basketball program added another piece to what’s considered to be the highest-rated recruiting class in program history, and the player in question has plenty of familiarity with both head coach Wayne Tinkle and incoming freshman Tres Tinkle.
Shooting guard Kendal Manuel, who played his grassroots basketball alongside the younger Tinkle and was considered to be the second-best prospect in the state of Montana last season, has signed a grant-in-aid to join the Oregon State program. Manuel’s addition means that Oregon State will add seven freshmen to a lineup that also won’t lack for experience as the Beavers look to improve upon a 2014-15 season that proved more successful than many expected when Wayne Tinkle took over.
Among the returnees are seniors Gary Payton II and Langston Morris-Walker, with junior Malcolm Duvivier being another experienced option on the perimeter. Given the presence of those veterans and fellow freshmen Stephen Thompson Jr. (son of OSU assistant Stephen Thompson) and Derrick Bruce, finding minutes could be difficult for Manuel in 2015-16.
However, the 6-foot-4 Manuel (who won’t turn 18 until September) is a player the coaching staff believes can develop into a productive option down the line. From a scholarship standpoint, forward Noah Togiai will be on a football scholarship and the possibility of Tinkle and Thompson Jr. being walk-ons this upcoming season has been discussed as well.