Wayne Tinkle had a postgame message for his team Saturday night.
The start of the Pac-12 men’s basketball schedule hasn’t arrived, but there’s not much room left for playing at anything less than 100 percent and expecting to walk off the floor with a win.
“We made it pretty loud and clear in the locker room that now the price of poker is going up,” Tinkle, Oregon State’s coach, said after an 85-58 home win against Arkansas Pine Bluff, a fourth straight victory.
The Beavers (6-3) have been saddled by slow starts and an inability to play a complete 40 minutes. Saturday, OSU led a winless opponent by just three at halftime before running away in the second half.
Tinkle said he will shorten his rotation “if we’ve got guys thinking about the wrong things and not giving us what they need to.
“It doesn’t happen a bunch, but we’ll coach some guys through it. We need guys that are engaged and ready to go for Oregon State University and not thinking about anything outside of this group. We’ll make sure we get that taken care of in the next couple days.”
Jacksonville State (7-2) comes to Gill Coliseum on Tuesday night having won three straight. The Gamecocks have narrow road losses to the two top-100 RPI teams they’ve played (Buffalo and Mississippi State) but are undefeated against the rest of their schedule.
OSU plays St. Louis in Portland on Saturday and travels to Kent State Dec. 21 before hosting Colorado on Dec. 29 to open conference play.
Eubanks still shooting well
Junior big man Drew Eubanks has still yet to shoot under 50 percent from the field in any game.
Eubanks was a combined 11 of 17 in two games last week, putting him at 51 of 72 (70.8 percent) for the season. Through Sunday’s games, that’s sixth best in Division I basketball.
Freshman forward Alfred Hollins is shooting 14 of 19 (73.7 percent), but doesn’t meet the minimum requirement (five makes per game) to be ranked nationally. If he did, he would be fourth.
Tinkle leads the way
Junior forward Tres Tinkle continues to lead the team in points (18.6), rebounds (7.4) and assists (3.8).
If he finishes the season doing so, he would be the third player in program history to accomplish it, joining Lester Conner (1981-82 season) and Gary Payton II (2015-16).
Tinkle also leads OSU in 3-point percentage (35.6) and free-throw percentage (81.4).
The Beavers bumped up their 3-point field goal percentage for the season in two games last week after hitting 25.9 percent through seven contests.
OSU made a combined 12 of 32 (37.5) against Eastern Kentucky and Arkansas Pine Bluff to improve to 28.1 percent for the season and from 346th to 337th in the national rankings.
Junior guard Stevie Thompson was 6 of 14 from deep and Tres Tinkle 5 of 12 in those two games.
Stevie Thompson and brother Ethan Thompson, a freshman guard, have shared point guard duties — along with Tres Tinkle — in the three games since JaQuori McLaughlin left the program earlier this month.
The Thompson brothers combined for 14 assists with two turnovers against Arkansas Pine Bluff.
Oregon State has an assist-to-turnover ratio of plus-1.73 in the last three games. That ratio was plus-0.92 in the team’s first six games.