Tinkle wants more inside-out balance
CORVALLIS — Oregon State's search for a low-post presence marches forward.
During Saturday's 71-59 loss at Oregon, 6-foot-10 Daniel Gomis and 7-footer Cheikh N'diaye were nonfactors. They appeared overwhelmed at times against 6-foot-6 Elgin Cook and 6-foot-9 Jordan Bell, wilting in the face of dunks and put-backs. It didn't help that the offensive game Gomis and N'diaye desire — easy shots on post-entry passes and rebounds — never materialized.
Head coach Wayne Tinkle, eager for a spark after OSU dug an early hole, leaned on a smaller lineup much of the game. The 6-foot-7 Jarmal Reid again filled in on the block, needing 19 minutes to foul out. Gomis finished with four points and three rebounds in 10 minutes, while N'diaye went scoreless with one board in four. The Beavers ultimately lost the battle on the glass 35-28 to the smaller Ducks.
"It didn't feel like we were getting much there," Tinkle said earlier this week. "We tried to match up with them by putting in Jarmal, a little smaller guy. If we weren't as depleted in our numbers, there might have even been times we put (6-foot-7) Vic (Robbins) in at the four or the five. At least then the ball gets moved."
Throughout nonconference play, Tinkle benched Gomis and N'diaye for crucial stretches to match up with mid-major teams' speed. But he hoped Pac-12 play would signal a change.
With Angus Brandt, Eric Moreland and Devon Collier gone, Gomis and N'diaye are OSU's only rotational players outside of Olaf Schaftenaar taller than 6-foot-7. Schaftenaar, of course, isn't the prototypical big man. He spends much of his time flashing up to the perimeter for open jumpers.
So the Beavers want more production down low from Gomis and N'diaye. Gomis, who has struggled with foul trouble this year, is averaging 3.9 points and 2.9 rebounds in 15.4 minutes per game. N'diaye is still raw on both sides of the court, a key reason Tinkle is only playing the Dakar, Senegal, native 7.5 minutes.
Unable to rely upon their two true post players, the Beavers concentrate on pressuring opponents into mistakes and using screens to find open looks near the basket. But Tinkle recognizes that such an approach may prove less and less effective against the Pac-12's towering frontcourts.
"We've got to get to where we've got the inside-out balance," Tinkle said. "We've got to get to where we've got the scorers inside and we've got to collapse."