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A Season of Struggle for the Oregon State Beavers Men’s Basketball team

Injuries and chemistry have wreaked havoc on the Beavers

NCAA Basketball: Oregon State at Oregon Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

The Oregon State Beaver basketball program had a 2015-2016 season that was one to remember for the program and their fans. The Beavers had not been to the NCAA Tournament since the 1990 season with Gary Payton. Things were looking up for Wayne Tinkle and his Beaver program. There was plenty positive thoughts going into this current season. The good thoughts have disappeared.

Having Gary Payton II on the team last year masked the fact that the Beavers were ahead of schedule in only the second year of Coach Tinkle’s tenure.

Going into this season the hopes were high that Coach Tinkle could get his team another NCAA Tournament berth. Players from last year were coming back and the thought was that the experience that the returning players had would only enhance the winning for the team.

The Beavers have had a cavalcade of injuries and that has played a part in the disappointing season so far. To put the injury aspect into context, in the first month of the season there were five players who missed a combined 24 games.

Stevie Thompson, sophomore guard, missed six games with an injury to his left foot. Tres Tinkle, sophomore guard, has also missed a ton of time. Tinkle may not even make back this season.

“It’s definitely been a big challenge, not being able to play with one set group of guys for an extended period time going into the season or even at the beginning of the season.” Said Stevie Thompson.

When injuries happen it creates a disruption in the chemistry of the team. Any coach will tell you that you can have a ton of talent, but if the players don’t know how to play together you have nothing.

Oregon State had three of their top players returning from their NCAA Tournament team, so the expectations were looking up. You add a couple of JUCO players and three talented freshmen who were expected to contribute fairly quickly and fans had a reason to come to Gill Coliseum.

“But I think with all the adversity that we’ve had to deal with its slowed that down. We are not where we need to be.” Wayne Tinkle stated when asked about the chemistry issues on the team.

Some players have said that it’s just matter of getting used to one another. It is in a simple world. When you don’t have the players playing that need to get used to one another, nothing is going to go well for your team.

The truth about the Beavers is that they do have the pieces to compete with most teams in the Pac-12, but when things happen that are out of the control of the coaches it creates a season to forget.

“Until we get healthy, it is going to be hard to make progress.” Coach Tinkle said.

That statement sums up the dilemma that the Oregon State men’s basketball team finds itself in right now. The injuries that the team has will heal when they heal. The players, as well as the fans, will have to be patient with all of this.

Beaver fans, at the end of the day, you know that Coach Tinkle is a good coach, he can recruit pretty well, and that the 2016-2017 season is just one of those years for the program. It would be different if we hadn’t seen the growth in the first two years of Coach Tinkle taking over the program. You can’t plan for injuries like the Beavers have had. The team will put one foot in front of the other the rest of the season and create some momentum going into next season. Wayne Tinkle is building something in Corvallis and he will get the program back to the NCAA Tournament next season. Go Beavs!