Notebook: Beavers chop up Pac-12 tree

In our weekly Notebook feature, the national team explores creative and broad topics from the grassroots hoops realm.

Beavers have their day

In my time covering recruiting, I haven’t seen three prospects commit to the same school at the same time. But that happened on Tuesday when Tres Tinkle, Stephen Thompson Jr. and Derrick Bruce committed to Oregon State .

The three prospects visited the Beavers over the weekend and according to a source set up their plan of attack during the visit. They wanted to make a statement and commit at the same time on the same day and they did just that.

How's this for perspective: From 2002 to 2014, Oregon State picked up just two total top 100 recruits. The Beavers scored one last week – Drew Eubanks – and two yesterday – Tinkle and Thompson Jr. Throw in Bruce, who sits just outside the top 100 rankings, and their class now ranks No. 9 in the team rankings.

I’m sure some will discount their recruiting success because Tinkle’s father is the head coach and Thompson Jr.’s father is on staff, but this is a big deal. Oregon State hasn’t seen this kind of recruiting success and this is the type of recruiting that leads to on the court success.

Tinkle and his staff at Oregon State deserve credit. The college basketball community is talking about Oregon State’s basketball program, and that’s something that hasn’t happened very often.

— Evan Daniels

Bragg with bigger decisions to make

The easy part is now over for Carlton Bragg. The five-star power forward is down to five schools, and though there might have been a surprise addition or exclusion on his list, at the end of the day it was the easiest decision for Carlton in the recruiting process. Now things are about to get really difficult.

Somewhat surprisingly, Bragg did not include Ohio State on his list of finalists

Bragg is not a kid who grew up watching a lot of college basketball, so as he embarks on these visits, a lot more will be learned by him, and he will have a lot to take in. Heading into the visits most think Kansas and Illinois have done the best job in terms of building a relationship with Bragg, his mentor, and his mother, but the visits will tell the story here.

Is Kentucky making him a real priority, how would he feel about playing across the country in California at UCLA, and what about Arizona, will they turn the heat up on Bragg? Those are some questions that all have to be answered, not to mention Kansas has to prove what role he will play, and can Illinois convince him they are capable of winning a national title.

All of that will come up and Bragg will have a very tough decision to make, but one thing is for sure, visits will definitely tell the story on this one.

— Brian Snow

Sendek extension should help Arizona State recruiting

On Monday, Arizona State and Herb Sendek agreed to a contract extension that will keep him in Tempe through 2019, sources confirmed to

The announcement should give more recruiting momentum to Sendek, who has a 140-119 record with the Sun Devils in eight seasons to go along with two NCAA Tournament berths.

It's been a successful month for the Sun Devils, who landed a commitment from two Top 100 caliber prospects in 2015 Renton (Wash.) Hazen small forward Dominic Green and 2017 Gilbert (Ariz.) Perry point guard Markus Howard.

Sendek and staff have also done a good job recruiting the junior college ranks, as talented Levelland (Texas) South Plains shooting guard Andre Spight has given a recent 2015 commitment to ASU. The Sun Devils signed four junior college prospects in 2014.

To keep that momentum going, it's important that recruits and their parents are assured that Sendek will remain at the helm for the foreseeable future, and that's exactly what the Sun Devils administration has done.

With the Sun Devils still involved with several coveted 2015 prospects, including Pasadena (Calif.) Marantha shooting guard Tyler Dorsey, Beverly Hills (Calif.) center Chance Comanche, Daytona (Fla.) State College small forward Tanksley Efianayi, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy post Andre Adams and Ottumwa (Iowa) Indian Hills Community College post Malik Dime, this news should only help Arizona State recruiting.

— Josh Gershon

Ingram recruitment remains mysterious

Brandon Ingram announced within the past few days released a list of six finalists, but even so clarity remains elusive.

A lanky native of North Carolina who enjoyed a fantastic July, Ingram's remaining suitors include Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State, Kansas, UCLA and Kentucky. Nothing too unusual about that list, right?

Ingram's length and skill level at 6-8 are superb

On the surface, that would appear to be the case. A strong contender for the McDonald's game very well might feature a blend of bluebloods that tilts in a local direction, but Ingram's recruitment has proceeded atypically throughout the process.

He had all the markings of an early commitment to UNC. Roy Williams followed him intently during the 2013 summer, and the Tar Heels have dominated in-state prospects dating back decades: Michael Jordan, James Worthy, Phil Ford and more recently players such as Reggie Bullock and P.J. Hairston.

And Ingram spent the past two years playing with Stackhouse Elite, a program named after former NBA — and UNC — star Jerry Stackhouse, who like Ingram and Bullock is a native of Kinston.

But Ingram clearly wanted to undertake an expansive recruitment. He has seemed particularly intrigued with Duke, which has risen in prominence within the state and also looms as a top contender for elite junior Harry Giles.

Meanwhile, the Wolfpack — which arguably boasts the greatest in-state college alumnus of all, David Thompson — has received less attention nationally but has remained a consistent presence in the race as well.

But this clearly has become more than a Tobacco Road tilt. Ingram will visit Kansas and Kentucky officially in October, and he already has toured the campuses of his other finalists, including UCLA. For him to entertain heavy in-state interest for as long as he has, yet also continue to pursue sincere interest from out-of-state, national programs, sets him apart as unique.

Not surprisingly, most grassroots observers within the state simply assume that Tar Heel natives will choose one of the Big Four programs (Wake Forest being the other), but Ingram has smashed all assumptions to this point and appears to be genuinely open.

If all we've really learned so far is not to predict his ultimate step with any conviction, that's likely a wise conclusion. Let's see how it plays out.

— Rob Harrington

Evan Daniels, Brian Snow, Josh Gershon and Rob Harrington contributed to this report

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