With just one Pac-12 win and only three last season, Oregon State welcomes the opportunity of a fresh start.
The Beavers have brought back just four players this season as coach Wayne Tinkle makes an ambitious youth-focused transformation. Nine players on the list are beginners.
The top five scorers from last season are gone, including Jarrod Lucas, who led the Beavers with an average of 13.5 points per game but moved in the off-season to Nevada. Striker Warith Alatish, who was part of The 2020-21 team that surprisingly went to the Elite Eight in the NCAA ChampionshipI decided to become a professional.
When last season ended with a loss to the Oregon competitor in the Pac-12 Championship, Tinkle described the campaign as “devastating”. But he was also an optimist.
“We just have to make sure we get back into that kind of culture again and learn and grow through all the tough times we’ve been through this year, and I know we’re going to be stronger for that,” Tinkle said at the time. I know we will.”
And so the rebuilding process began.
KC Ipekwe, who is 6-foot-10, recently joined a host of newcomers including striker Tyler Pelodeau, goalkeeper Nick Krass, goalkeeper Jordan Pope, winger Justin Rochlin, striker Jayden Stevens and winger Michael Rataj.
The Beavers Dexter Akanno and Glenn Taylor Jr.
Taylor averaged 6.9 points last season as a freshman. Striker Dzmitry Ryuny moved to Oregon from San Francisco.
But before the start of the season, the beavers suffered a setback. Georgia transfer Christian Wright, expected to be a starting player, injured his knee and is out indefinitely. Wright averaged 5.3 points and two assists in every game last season for the Bulldogs.
Tinkle begins his ninth season with the team. It remains to be seen if he can restore the Elite Eight’s magic. More realistically, it’s a transition year.
“We’re going to be really young, but the experiences we had over the summer have been great building our chemistry and reclaiming our culture,” Tinkle told reporters when the Beavers opened training.
Like many teams, the Beavers have benefited from the ability to take an outdoor trip this season – for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic.
NCAA rules allow teams to travel abroad to attend fairs once every four years. As a bonus, teams get additional practices before those trips.
The beavers went on an 11-day expedition to Italy, where they played games in Milan, Florence, and Rome. They went 2-1.
Oregon has a big early challenge at Duke No. 7. Thanksgiving Day in Portland is part of a double tournament in honor of Nike founder Phil Knight.
Oregon is part of the Legacy Field, which includes Duke, Florida, Gonzaga, Portland, Purdue, West Virginia, and Xavier.
The PKI field includes Oregon, Alabama, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Portland, Ocon and Villanova.
The Beavers roster includes six players from other countries, including Rodrigue Andela of Cameroon, Ebekwe of Canada, Chul Marial of South Sudan, Felipe Palazzo of Argentina, Rataj of Germany and Rayoni of Belarus.
The Beavers have 11 non-conference games scheduled this season, starting at home on November 7 against Tulsa.
The team has a pair of Pac-12 games, at home against Washington on December 1 and at USC on December 4, before the non-conference roster resumes.
Oregon will face Oregon in Eugene on New Years Eve. The Beavs wrap up their Pac-12 season at home against Stanford and Cal before the Pac-12 Championship begins in Las Vegas on March 8.
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