The "Take Two" is a new article series from BeaversEdge.com where Brenden Slaughter and Mike Singer will answer a question surrounding Oregon State athletics. Today's edition tackles whether or not Oregon State forward Tres Tinkle will be a Pac-12 Player of the Year candidate.
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FIRST TAKE: BRENDEN SLAUGHTER
To Be Determined. Based on what I’ve seen from Tinkle through 15 games, the jury is still out on whether or not he might find himself in the conversation for Pac-12 POY. Based on his first three conference games, you could make a case that he could be included in the conversation, but the Beavers need to win games in order for him to have a chance. Tinkle’s current stats are promising as he’s averaging 18 points, seven rebounds, and nearly four assists per game. Those stats are enough to keep him in the conversation, but he needs team help.
Let’s take a look back at some of the best Beavers over the past few seasons who found themselves in the same boat as Tinkle.
Jared Cunningham: In 2011-12, Cunningham averaged 18 points, four rebounds, three assists, and 2.5 steals per game. Cunningham was arguably one of the top players in the conference but lost out to Derrick Williams at Arizona, who had roughly the same stats as Cunningham minus the steals and four additional rebounds. The reason Williams won POY was team success. Arizona was No. 4 in the conference standings while the Beavers checked in at No. 9.
Roberto Nelson: Like Cunningham, Nelson was one of the best players in the Pac-12 during his senior campaign as he notched 20 points, three rebounds, and three assists per game. However, Arizona’s Nick Johnson won the award and did so with extremely similar numbers as Johnson posted. Many thought Nelson deserved a shot at the award, but was left out thanks to Arizona’s 33 wins and 1st place Pac-12 finish while the Beavers finished 16-16 overall and 8-10 in conference play.
Gary Payton II: Last but certainly not least, we arrive at Gary Payton II. Payton put up very similar numbers to Tinkle in his senior campaign but didn’t earn enough consideration for the award due to a 9-9 conference campaign.
Team success is crucial to this award and unless Tinkle’s team finishes in the top four of the Pac-12, I don’t see him beating out some of the bigger names in the conference. However, it’s too early to cross him off completely, so I have a TBD next to this Take Two.
SECOND TAKE: MIKE SINGER
Yes. I'm trying not to be a sunshine pumper here, but let's look at the numbers. Tinkle leads his team in points (18.3), rebounds (7.3), steals (1.6), and minutes (35.8) -- all per game.
In the conference, Tinkle ranks No. 6 in scoring, No. 12 in rebounds, No. 14 in assists, No. 5 in steals, No. 5 in FT%, No. 5 in defensive rebounds, and No. 2 in minutes.
No, I don't think Tinkle will win the award., but here's something to consider: Oregon State was horrible at 5-27 last year, and if they do continue to play well in conference and have a respectable record, people will give their props to the Beavers' best player -- and that's Tinkle. It also helps that Tinkle has the name recognition being the coach's son.
I do think he'll be in consideration for the award given the reasons above -- he's turning around a horrible team from a season ago and everyone in the conference knows him well.
Brenden brings up Gary Payton II, who was a candidate for the award in 2015-16 as a two-time first team Pac-12 player. He didn't win the award, but we're not asking if Tinkle will win it. But will Tinkle be a candidate? I certainly think so.