Kendal Manuel

Oregon State announces addition of guard Kendal Manuel

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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.

Oregon State grabs commitment from 2015 guard

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Oregon State made a late move to its 2015 recruiting haul on Tuesday as the Beavers took a commitment from guard Kendal Manuel. The 6-foot-4 Manuel is a native of Montana and considered attending prep school next season, but he’ll stay in his graduating class and announced his commitment to the Beavers on Twitter.

Manuel was expected to go to Hillcrest Prep in Arizona before taking an official visit to Oregon State and opting to join the 2015 class. Attending Skyview High School in Billings, Montana, Manuel helped the program to a Class AA state title as he scored 26 points in the state championship game. For his senior season, Manuel earned first-team all-state honors.

A shooting guard with good range and some athleticism, Manuel is very young for his class and doesn’t turn 18 until mid-September. As the finishing piece of the what many consider to be the greatest recruiting class in Oregon State history, Manuel joins four-star wing Tres Tinkle, four-star guard Stephen Thompson Jr., three-star point guard Derrick Bruce and three-star big men Drew Eubanks and Gligoride Rankocevic in the Beavers’ 2015 class.