With Daniel Gomis entering his senior season and Oregon State’s stacked 2015 recruiting haul lacking a player who can fill that hole at the power forward position, addressing this issue in the Class of 2016 was an important move for Wayne Tinkle and his staff. Tuesday afternoon the Beavers were able to do just that, as 6-foot-9 power forward Ben Kone announced that he’ll join the Pac-12 program next season.
Kone, who attends Archbishop Mitty HS in San Jose, California, delivered the news to Tinkle in person according to The Oregonian and he held offers from Auburn, California, New Mexico, New Mexico State and San Diego State. Kone was one of the best players in the state as a junior, and it was his relationship with the Oregon State coaches that helped sway him in the end.
“I loved the coaches. I really do love the coaches. I can tell they want to win just as badly as I do. Not just winning, but they want to win the right way,” Kone said. “As a young man, that’s something I find important, and they find equally important. Being able to share that bond was my biggest takeaway from this visit.”
While Oregon State will lose Gomis and Daniel Stangel at the end of the 2015-16 season, they won’t have a bare cupboard moving forward. Center Cheikh N’diaye will be a junior this upcoming season, and they’ve added centers Drew Eubanks and Gligorije Rakocevic in the 2015 class. Two other freshmen, Tres Tinkle and Noah Togiai (who’s on a football scholarship), are both better suited for the three but could see time at the four in smaller lineups.
Kone is the first commitment in the Class of 2016 for Oregon State, and with four perimeter players (most notably Gary Payton II) being seniors this season adding another perimeter option would be the expectation at this point.