In the world of college basketball, it is far from uncommon to see a coach's son deciding to play for his father's team. From Pat Knight playing under Bob Knight at Indiana, to Doug McDermott playing for his father, Greg, at Creighton, it is a regular occurrence. It happened yet again earlier this week with Oregon State. However, in Oregon State's case, they landed commits from not only the head coach's son, four-star small forward Tres Tinkle, but also an assistant coach's son, four-star shooting guard Stephen Thompson, Jr. As if landing these two was not enough, Wayne Tinkle also secured a commitment the very same day from three-star point guard Derrick Bruce, making it arguably the best day in the history of the basketball program at Oregon State.
Although we know two of the three recruits are related to coaches, and all three are in 247Sports' top 200 for the Class of 2015 (with Tinkle and Thompson in the top 80), what do they bring to the table from a basketball perspective? Let's take a look at their film.
It makes the most sense to start with Tinkle cause he is likely going to end up as the best of the three players, The best player in the state of Montana and the 12th best small forward in the nation, per 247Sports, also had offers from Montana, Boston College, USC, and Utah, though it was pretty widely understood he would be playing for his father. As you will see in his video from this summer's NBA Top 100 camp, he comes off as a similar type of player to Doug McDermott. He can shoot the three, but he can also use his size to drive inside and use his post moves to get to the hoop. He is also a very good passer for someone of his size as you can also see in the video. It is often tough to gauge defense from these videos because most of the things people consider "highlights" are dunks or three pointers, but Tinkle had a couple nice blocks on the video and appears to have good closing speed.
Stephen Thompson, Jr.
Compared to Tres Tinkle, Stephen Thompson's recruiting process was a lot less cut and dry. His father, Stephen Thompson, Sr. had been coaching at Division II Cal State Los Angeles and the younger Thompson was not a Division II talent. Before Wayne Tinkle hired his father, it's not clear if Oregon State was even on Thompson's radar. The seventh best player in the state of California and 18th best shooting guard in the nation had his share of offers from schools all over the country (Arizona State, Gonzaga, USC, and Vanderbilt ). Like Tinkle though, once it was announced his father would be employed by Oregon State, they were widely regarded as the favorite for him. As the below video shows about Thompson, he is a prolific scorer with all kinds of range. He does a great job creating space from his defenders. Much like Tinkle's highlight video, there are not many defensive plays, but it is important to remember a lot of high school kids come to college and are still pretty raw and need to be taught defense.
Of these three recruits, it was by far the hardest to find information about Derrick Bruce. The 15th best player in Florida and 31st best point guard in the nation took an official visit to Oregon State on August 29th, and must have had a great time given that he committed just a few days later. As his film shows, Bruce seems like a bit of a shoot-first point guard. Of course, with Tinkle and Thompson around, his role may change as more of a pass-first option for the Beavers. No coach in the sport of basketball at any level is going to complain about their team having too many scoring options though. Chances are, Oregon State will just tell Bruce to go out there and do his thing, and then from there they can fluctuate what exactly that "thing" entails.
What does this all mean for the Beavers going forward? A couple things. First, and perhaps most importantly, they are almost guaranteed to have the third best class in the Pac-12 next year after Arizona and UCLA. 247Sports has them at #8 right now, but it's expected that UCLA will pass them before next season starts. Secondly, a big knock on former coach Craig Robinson was his lack of success in terms of recruiting. Between these three, and Drew Eubanks, it is inherently clear that Wayne Tinkle will not hear those same criticisms.