MISSOULA, Mont. - Just one week ago Tres Tinkle informed us that he would not be transferring to Corvallis, Oregon for his senior year of high school. On Tuesday he announced he will be headed to Corvallis for basketball, but not until next year.
The 6-foot-7 Hellgate senior confirmed with NBC Montana that he has verbally committed to play for his father at Oregon State next year following his high school career in Missoula. Tres made his official visit to Oregon State over the weekend and it didn't take him long to make his decision.
"To play in the PAC-12 you know is a dream because it's one of the top conferences in the country," he said.
After his father Wayne took the heading coaching job for the Beavers this past spring, Tres Tinkle says the recruiting frenzy for his attention started to die down. Schools began assuming the Hellgate star would end up in Corvallis.
"As time went on they slowly stopped talking to me just because they figured ‘who wouldn't want to play for their dad, I would.'" said the Hellgate standout. "And with my family living down there now I'll be able to see them during my next years at college and things like that so I mean one thing led to another and it just made sense. To have my Dad there every single day supporting me and pushing me to get better, you know there isn't anything better I could ask for."
Beavers head coach Wayne Tinkle won't talk extensively about any Oregon State verbal commitments until the players sign their letter of intent in the fall, but he did say he's excited for his son.
"I'm happy for him," said the former Griz head coach about Tres' announcement. "He's excited about his decision and now he can focus on his senior year and continuing to excel both academically and athletically."
Tres promises his father never pushed him during the recruiting process, but he says this opportunity was always too great to pass up.
"He knew it was coming but he never really tried to push me one way, he wanted me to do my own thing. He knows my game better than anyone else and he's going to push me to achieve all the accomplishments that I want."
Tres is ranked #45 on ESPN's top 100 list of high school recruits in the country, so Oregon State fans are certainly excited to land an athlete of his caliber.
Last year as a junior for the Knights, Tinkle was named Gatorade Player of the Year after he averaged 21.1 points per game with 7.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.8 steals while leading the Knights to a runner-up finish at state and being named state tournament MVP. In the span of just one week Tres Tinkle made commitments to both Missoula Hellgate and Corvallis, Oregon. Now he finally feels like he can enjoy his last year of high school.
"I mean it was a pretty tough summer. I feel like I had a big weight lifted off my shoulders with the past couple of decisions I've had to make," explained Tres. "The number one goal is to get another state championship and I'd like to get another Gatorade Player of the Year. And I remember my freshman year I was with one of my coaches and he wrote down some goals that I wanted to accomplish in high school and one of them was to be the best player to come out of Montana. With this next year I feel I have a good chance at doing that. So I just want to finish this last year and achieve all my goals."
Tres' commitment is one of several big-time recruits that Wayne Tinkle has reeled in since becoming the new head coach at Oregon State. Stephen Thompson Jr. of Los Angeles also made a verbal commitment to OSU on Tuesday. The son of assistant Beavers coach Stephen Thompson Sr., the California product is rated just outside of the top 50 prospects by ESPN. Also recently making verbal commitments to Corvallis were Derrick Bruce, a Rivals.com top 150 prospect, and big man Drew Eubanks, an Oregon prospect out of Reynolds High School.