CORVALLIS – The Oregon State men’s basketball program received good news Tuesday when Tres Tinkle and Cheikh N’diaye were officially granted hardships by the Pac-12 Faculty Athletics Representative Committee.
Tinkle, a 6-foot-8 sophomore forward, averaged 20.2 points and 8.3 rebounds in six games last season before missing the remainder of the 2016-17 campaign with a broken wrist. He’ll have three years of eligibility remaining.
N’diaye, a 7-0 senior center, averaged 3.6 points and 2.2 rebounds in nine games before sustaining a season-ending shoulder injury. The 2017-18 season will be his final year of college eligibility.
Tinkle and N’diaye were eligible for a medical hardship because they played in nine games or less during the first half of the season and suffered season-ending injuries.
“I’m happy Cheikh and Tres got their years back,” OSU head coach Wayne Tinkle said in a statement. “It’s why the rule exists and we’re sure that both student-athletes will take advantage of it from an academic standpoint as well as athletically.”
Minus two starters for most of the season, along with the departure of two-time all-Pac-12 guard Gary Payton II, the Beavers struggled last season, finishing 5-27 overall and 1-17 in the Pac-12.
Having Tinkle and N’diaye back helps the Beavers’ prospects next season, but uncertainty remains.
Sophomore forward Drew Eubanks (14.5 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 2.2 blocks) and sophomore guard Stephen Thompson Jr. (16.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.0 assists) have declared for the 2017 NBA Draft, but neither player was invited to this week’s NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, which is a showcase for draft-eligible players.
Eubanks and Thompson Jr. have until May 24 to withdraw from the draft as long as they don’t hire agents. Thompson Jr. is almost certain to return to OSU, but Eubanks is reportedly giving the NBA Draft serious consideration.
OSU has a strong 2017 recruiting class that includes four-star guard Ethan Thompson (Stephen Thompson Jr.'s younger brother) from Los Angeles, four-star forward Alfred Hollins (Phoenix, Arizona) and three-star guard Zach Reichle from Wilsonville High School, the two-time Class 5A state player of the year in Oregon.
ghorowitz@StatesmanJournal.com, or Twitter.com/ghorowitz