Wayne Tinkle, Beavers prioritizing staying loose ahead of the Sweet 16


The Oregon State Beavers are in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1982. 

But this NCAA Tournament has been unlike any other. All games are being played in Indiana due to the coronavirus pandemic with teams undergoing heavy isolation to reduce the chance of the virus unknowingly spreading. 

[Listen to the Talkin' Beavers Podcast!]

"We're pretty limited on what we can do," said head coach Wayne Tinkle. "We can't go out and roam around."

The Beavers do some fun activities on the court to begin and end practice sessions on top of getting some field time outside.

"We have had a couple of hours at Victory Field where the guys can go out and throw the football around," said Tinkle. "Play a little pickleball, that sort of thing. That's been really good."

"For these student-athletes, the grind has been a tough one," added Tinkle. 

We got to let these guys be kids. Let them enjoy this. It's unlike any other year. They don't have time after the games to go spend with their families. 

Wayne Tinkle on the mental health of his players

The Beavers took a day-trip on Wednesday to Top Golf to "play Happy Gillmore" the Beavers head coach said that morning, but overall the team has found solace in spending time with one another.

"We came straight from Vegas so a lot of our guys, we didn't bring PlayStations, books, any of that stuff so it's TV, YouTube, and just kind of hanging out with each other," said Jarod Lucas. "Enjoying it. Enjoying the moment that we're in right now." 


"Our guys are in a good state right now," affirmed Tinkle. "They're a confident group and we're just wanting to keep their minds freed up, not put too much stress on them and go play basketball. "

As for preparing his team for the national stage of the Sweet 16, he received some advice from his daughter, Josyln Tinkle: a three-time Final Four participant for Stanford and host of the Talkin' Beavers Podcast. 

"Your guys look so relaxed and confident, keep them that way," Joslyn told her father.

Wayne agreed with his daugher and credits the mental resolve of his players for the team's current run. 

"That's a big reason they're playing the way they are. Their minds are freed up and they're just out there hooping." 

Oregon State takes on Loyola-Chicago at 11:40 a.m. on Saturday, March 27th on CBS.