Beavers lay foundation for the future with young roster

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CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) The Oregon State Beavers are laying a foundation for the future with a young roster this season.

They've got just one senior, 7-foot center Cheikh N'diaye, to go with nine players who are new or didn't play last year when the Beavers returned to the NCAA Tournament after a 26-year absence.

''But we do have a good group of sophomores. I think that we're in those early stages, and they're going to be able to now carry the baton, and hopefully at some point hand the torch off to the next group,'' coach Wayne Tinkle said. ''That's how you create consistency. You get a group of guys at the bottom level to learn things the right way, to go about their business the right way. These guys have bought into it.''

Those sophomores include forwards Tres Tinkle and Drew Eubanks, and guard Stephen Thompson Jr. All three will likely start this season.

The Beavers improved to 19-13 overall last season and finished sixth in the Pac-12, which sent a record seven teams to the NCAA Tournament. Oregon State lost to VCU 75-67 in the team's opening round.

This season they were picked to finish ninth in the league by reporters who cover the Pac-12.

FAMILY AFFAIR: Tinkle's roster includes his son, who is coming off of a foot injury that left him out of the tournament appearance last season. The younger Tinkle, a 6-foot-8 forward, averaged 13.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game before he was hurt.

In the second season, the dividing line between dad and coach is easier to see, Tres Tinkle said.

''We've had our learning curves, for sure. That's just getting used to the transition between when I can call him dad, when I can call him coach. It was tough for me just to know who I'm talking to. Once that got figured out, it made things way easier and we've just been growing from there,'' the younger Tinkle said.

MORE FAMILY TIES: Also returning is guard Stephen Thompson Jr., son of Beavers assistant Stephen Thompson, who averaged 10.6 points last season. And another Thompson will join the Beavers next season: Four-star recruit Ethan Thompson has committed to Oregon State. The 6-foot-4 shooting guard was also recruited by Stanford.

WHO IS GONE: Gary Payton II, son of the Oregon State and NBA great, has graduated and signed with the Houston Rockets. He topped the team with averages of 16 points, 7.8 rebounds and five assists per game. Guard Malcom Duvivier, who was to be a senior this season, has left the team for personal reasons and returned to his native Canada. He averaged 6.1 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists as a starter.

Forwards Olaf Schaftenaar and Jarmal Reid, as well as guard Langston Morris-Walker, have also moved on.

SANDERS' SCHOLLIE: Guard Tanner Sanders was a walk-on two seasons ago for the Beavers, when Wayne Tinkle held open tryouts to fill out the roster. That season he also redshirted on the football team. Last season after giving up football and finding no room on the basketball team, Sanders was a baseball walk on.

In August, he got a call from Tinkle wondering if he'd like to return to the basketball team. In October Tinkle announced that Sanders was awarded a scholarship.

WHAT'S AHEAD: The Beavers have an exhibition against Corban on Nov. 4 before hosting Prairie View A&M in the season opener on Nov. 11. Oregon State opens the conference season at home against USC on Dec. 28.