The Oregon State Beavers are focused on rebuilding and believe they have overcome the hardest part.
Last season, the Beavers turned to their younger players, facing challenges and finishing with a record of 11-21 overall and 5-12 in the Pac-12 conference.
Head coach Wayne Tinkle, entering his 10th season with the team, expressed confidence in their ability to build a lasting program, saying, “We made the commitment to go young, which not many people do.”
Since their appearance in the Elite Eight during the 2020-21 season, Oregon State has experienced a significant decline. The following year, they only won three games.
Injuries also played a role in the Beavers’ struggles last season. Key players such as center Chol Marial, guards Christian Wright and Justin Rochelin dealt with various injuries throughout the season.
This season, the team welcomes back 10 returning players, including standout Jordan Pope and starter Tyler Bilodeau.
Despite their optimism, the Beavers were picked to finish last in the Pac-12 preseason media poll.
Coach Tinkle acknowledged the low expectations but believes the team’s improved health and offseason work will surprise people.
THE REST OF THE ROSTER
The Beavers’ roster consists mostly of underclassmen, with just two seniors and two juniors.
However, the team managed to retain four of their five starters from the previous season.
Last year, due to the challenges they faced, the Beavers had to keep things simple. But in the offseason, they were able to expand their playbook, adding new strategies and defensive tactics.
END OF AN ERA
With Oregon leaving the Pac-12 conference for the Big Ten in the future, the future of the rivalry between the Beavers and the Ducks is uncertain.
Both Coach Tinkle and Ducks coach Dana Altman express a desire to continue the rivalry, as it benefits basketball in the state and their respective fanbases.
ABOUT THE FUTURE
Oregon State and Washington State are the only two schools remaining in the Pac-12 conference.
Coach Tinkle is disappointed with the changing landscape but remains hopeful that they will overcome the challenges and continue to prosper.
The Beavers’ season opens on Nov. 6 with a home game against Linfield College. They have eight nonconference games scheduled, including matchups against Nebraska and participation in the NIT Season Tip-off in Brooklyn. Their Pac-12 opener is on Dec. 28 against UCLA.
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Laura Davis covers the world of basketball with precision. Her articles explore NBA and college basketball, offering game analysis, player profiles, and highlights. Laura’s passion for hoops is evident in her comprehensive basketball coverage.