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The rebirth of Oregon State basketball is underway with Wayne Tinkle

Landing three big-time commitments on Tuesday is helping Oregon State reinvent itself.

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

Nearly every team in the Pac-12 has challenged for the top of the conference over the last 11 seasons. During that span, eight different programs have either won the regular season crown or the conference tournament, including Colorado, who didn't join until 2012. Arizona State and Washington State are two of the three programs that haven't made a run, and each enjoyed some degree of success during that time: the Cougars reaching the Sweet 16 under Tony Bennett in 2008; the Sun Devils going 25-10 with James Harden in 2009.

The conference's one big exception? That would be Oregon State, a once-proud program that has devolved into one of the least successful Power 5 basketball schools in the country over the last 25 years.

Can you even name a Beaver basketball player since Gary Payton became the second pick in the 1990 NBA Draft? There was Brent Barry in the mid-90s, a couple years of Corey Benjamin in the late '90s and a strong season from Jared Cunningham two years ago. Aside from that? The pickings are relatively slim.

That's why it felt so peculiar on Tuesday when everyone was talking about a program that hasn't made the tournament in 24 seasons. All it took was for new coach Wayne Tinkle to land three top-150 prospects to a 2015 recruiting class that already had one consensus top-150 player locked in. Tinkle hasn't even been on the job for four months, but he's already made the program more buzzworthy than it's been over almost any point in the last two decades.

It helps to be the father of a top recruit, and in Oregon State's case it counted for double. Tinkle got a verbal commitment from his son, Tres, a forward out of Montana. He also picked up Stephen Thompson Jr., a guard out of California and the son of the Beavers assistant coach by the same name.

It's a huge coup for Oregon State, and something the program hasn't ever really seen before.

Tres Tinkle is currently ranked No. 84 by Rivals. He's a 6'7, 205-pound lefty who has been called "one of the more college-ready players in the national class of 2015" because of his long arms and crafty game. Thompson, out of Bishop Montgomery High School in Torrance, is one of the better long-distance shooters in the class and held scholarship offers from at least nine other schools, including San Diego State, UNLV and Gonzaga. He's ranked No. 74 in his class by Rivals.

The pair join Drew Eubanks, considered the best player in the state. He's a 6'10 shooter ranked No. 133 in the class. Derrick Bruce, a point guard out of Orlando, was also part of Tuesday's masterstroke. He's ranked No. 123 in the country, per Rivals.

Perhaps the only downside for Tinkle is he has to survive this upcoming season before the reinforcements arrive. Oregon State is losing all five starters from a 16-16 squad a year ago. Three seniors (including Roberto Nelson, who averaged over 20 points per game) are gone, as is big man Eric Moreland, who has signed with the Sacramento Kings and guard Hallice Cooke, who decided to transfer to Iowa State after his freshman year.

No one returning for the Beavers next season averaged more than four points per game or played over 40 percent of the available minutes. It could be a long season, but at least Tinkle knows help is on the way.

The dynamic between a father coach and a son recruit is always a tricky one, and Tinkle has acknowledged that NCAA rules have "kept me from being a dad." It unquestionably worked in Tinkle's favor here, though, and just may have been one of the reasons the Beavers were willing to bring him over from Montana, even if no one will admit it.

While Tinkle is toeing a fine line in the distorted worldview of the NCAA, Oregon State is far from the first program to use father-son relationships to its advantage. Memphis added the father of top recruits Dedric and K.J. Lawson as an assistant this summer, and immediately scored commitments from the players. It's a tactic that goes all the way back to Danny Manning's recruitment to Kansas in 1984, and surely even earlier than that.

A program like Oregon State needs to use everything it can to gain an advantage, and that's precisely what it did on Tuesday. The rebirth of Beaver basketball isn't happening just yet, but for the first time in a many, many years, hope is on the way.