It was a magical run by the Oregon State Beavers men’s basketball team in the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
The madness was alive and well for Beaver Nation.
Oregon State star Ethan Thompson quickly became a household name before the No. 12 seeded Beavers ended their run in the Elite Eight in Indianapolis. OSU couldn’t pull off a late rally to reach the Final Four as the Beavers lost to No. 2 seed Houston, 67-61.
After months to reflect on all of the emotions and excitement that the team enjoyed during their storybook run, Oregon State men’s basketball coach Wayne Tinkle joined Beavers contributor Ron Callan on the latest Talkin’ Beavers to reflect on the very memorable tournament.
“It was an incredible ride,” Coach Tinkle said. “I'm just so proud of our guys, the way they came together down the stretch and put us in position to make that happen.”
Coach Tinkle believes that his team's recent success could have a very positive impact on the program's future.
“Everybody asks, ‘how's that going to impact recruiting?’ And it's probably going to open some doors, maybe a little bit more far and wide. But, you know, we always remind people we still got to target the kind of student athletes we think will thrive here in Corvallis. But it's been a great ride. And now, we're back and practicing with the new team. It's all behind us and we're ready to move on to the next thing.”
As the Beavers move on to the upcoming 2021-22 season, they will have plenty of talented returning players.
One such player to watch out for this season will be senior forward Warith Alatishe, especially after his NCAA tournament performance.
“Well, he's not going to be able to surprise anybody this year, everybody is well aware of his abilities,” Coach Tinkle said. “He's worked hard in the off season on his ball handling. We've got him to continue to bring along his perimeter shooting. His percentages need to go up there.”
Last year, as a junior, Alatishe started all 33 games for the Beavs, averaging 9.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.2 steals along with 1.4 blocked shots in 27.5 minutes per game. He was also named Pac-12 All-Defensive Honorable Mention.
Coach Tinkle and the Beavs will open the season at home when they host Portland State on Tuesday, Nov. 9.