The McDonald’s All-American Game committee released its initial list of 492 boys nominated for the annual showcase and gave Oregon State men’s basketball fans something to smile about.

Four of the Beavers’ class of 2015 signees – Tres Tinkle, Stephen Thompson Jr., Gligorije Rakocevic and Drew Eubanks – made the cut.

Tinkle, rated by ESPN as the 77th-best player in the country, was one of just two players to earn the distinction out of the state of Montana. Prior to his commitment, the 6-foot-7, 215-pound small forward held offers from Boston College, USC and Utah, but many programs backed off out of respect for new Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle, Tres’ dad.

“I know for a fact that with some teams in our league the head coaches told the assistants, ‘Don’t you dare recruit him. Don’t do that to his father, out of respect. Unless he calls and says that he’s not going to have him play for me and it’s open.’ I thought it was kind of neat, but it was very interesting to be involved in those dynamics, again, from a coach’s perspective and a father’s,” Tinkle told The Oregonian.

Stephen Thompson Jr., whose father is an assistant coach for Oregon State, is rated as the No. 69 player in the country by ESPN. Many recruiting analysts believe the 6-foot-4 shooting guard has the highest ceiling of any 2015 Beavers signee.

“I know Stevie really well. I think he’s probably an NBA player,” Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary High School coach George Zadan said. “I’ve told many people that he’s the next Steph Curry. People laugh at me, but I think he does so many things well.”

Drew Eubanks, the top-rated player in Oregon, is one of just six players from the state to be nominated for the game. The Reynolds star is a raw prospect, but has the size and athleticism to develop into a quality Pac-12 big man.

“What I love is, a lot of times when you have tall, young, thin kids, they aren’t very tough. Drew is tough,” Tinkle told The Oregonian. “He’ll mix it up. We saw him all spring and summer. At times, he crosses the edge a little, but you’d rather have to say, ‘woah’ than ‘giddyup,’ is the saying. He’s not a guy we are going to have to tell ‘giddyup.'”

Gligorije Rakocevic was an under-the-radar recruit for Oregon State, but has had a big season thus far and looks like a possible rotation piece early in his college career.

“Gligorije is a great addition to this recruiting class,” Tinkle said in a news release. “He’s 6-10, 6-10 1/2, 245 pounds, and will probably be 260 by the time he gets here. He’s a very physical post, but he’s not a plodder. He can get out in space, guards the pick and roll well, gets up and down the floor, can step out and knock down shots as well as finish around the basket.”

The lone commit not to make the list was point guard Derrick Bruce, who was not eligible because he’s in prep school.

The game will take place April 1 at the United Center in Chicago.

— Andrew Nemec | @AndrewNemec

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