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October 12, 2017

Wayne Tinkle

San Francisco, California

WAYNE TINKLE: Excited for the season that's in front of us. We're excited to get out there and hopefully make it a great turnaround from an injury-plagued season a year ago.

Q. What was it like sharing a private jet with Oregon?
WAYNE TINKLE: That was fun. I called it Air Force Dana. It was really, really nice and gracious of him to include us on that; otherwise, it would have been really tough to get down here.

So we had some fun hanging in that airport for a while. Even, I think, offered for us to stay in his house if we didn't want to go back to Corvallis. I don't know how sincere that offer was, though. It was kind of cool flying down with those guys, yeah.

Q. Were you supposed to come last night and you guys got delayed?
WAYNE TINKLE: They kept pushing our flight back further and further. We kept getting updates. So we figured why go down there at five o'clock for an 11:20 flight. They thought the same thing. So we got there by 9:30 for an 11:20. But they had shut down the TSA. So there were a lot of families and then six of us, obviously, that were stuck without much of a plan. He was able to put something together last minute, so that was great.

Q. What time did you guys actually arrive?
WAYNE TINKLE: I think we landed in Oakland around 10:15. We were wheels up about 8:55-ish. Yeah, then it took us about 40 minutes to get here from the airport.

Q. How is it having Thompson come into your program? How much is that infusing them with energy?
WAYNE TINKLE: That's key. It's big. It reminds us of our second year when our 2015 class came in and gave us that same sort of big injection of confidence and talent. It's not just Ethan. He's a top 50 player and he's good at a lot of different things. But the rest of the guys in that class, too, we feel it's similar. It's another big incoming class. Now we've got some guys that have been in our program for a few years, so that balance is going to be a good thing for us.

Q. What were your thoughts on the NCAA scandal coming to light a few weeks ago now?
WAYNE TINKLE: It's a tough deal. You don't ever want to see a cloud like that hover over our sport and our profession. It's a tough deal. I know some of the folks involved that I've considered friends of mine. But it is what it is. What we hope is that it brings a positive change to our sport and our profession, for sure.

Q. Pac-12 now has created a task force, the NCAA has a commission that is investigating these matters. If they would invite you to speak in front of them, what is one piece of change that you might advocate for?
WAYNE TINKLE: I think the big thing would maybe be the model. You know, rethinking when we allow these kids to enter the draft. I know that there's got to be some collaboration with the Players Association and that sort of thing, but I think that would be a step in the right direction. Whether it be the baseball model, some form of the NHL hockey deal. But I think that would be a step in the right direction.

I think it's a good thing that we're now being proactive. We're going to put some people together in a committee and task force to try to move this thing forward in a positive direction again. So I'm all for positive change, and hopefully that's what we're going to see from this.

Q. What are your favorites of those models?
WAYNE TINKLE: I like the baseball model. You know, if someone feels they're good enough and they're ready to go right from high school, let's let them go. If you go to college, I like the three-year commitment. Obviously they might be ready from a talent standpoint or maturity standpoint.

You know, I get the whole deal where kids can go make a bunch of money and provide for their families, but I also think there is a bigger piece involved with making sure that they're right mentally in order to handle the success and the things that come with that at that age.

It's worked pretty well for them. Football, same thing. It's the junior year. So maybe we can follow suit. But I know there are a lot of obstacles there to deal with.

Q. Do you think it would help if they had that model in baseball where you can have an agent deal with an agent but defer the money, or not?
WAYNE TINKLE: I haven't thought about that. It could, but I can't give a good answer there because I haven't put much thought into that. I don't know if that would allow for anything else to come in and get involved. I know there are a lot of voices in these kids' heads as it is. And, you know, if we could just keep it to their families and the coaches that they're playing for, I think that would be great.

Q. What do you think of the conference this year?
WAYNE TINKLE: It's going to be interesting. There are obviously a few teams that everybody knows. They've got a ton of talent. And, boy, I think after that there's teams that can finish in any order. I think it's going to be very, very competitive from top to bottom. I just know that we're excited about the group that we have and hopefully can use the preseason to prepare us so that we can get back to where we were three and two years ago, trying to compete in the top half to get to the postseason.

Q. With the endless amount of injuries that you guys had last year, did it feel like you never got on the right track?
WAYNE TINKLE: Yeah, it was hard to get into a groove. Even though we lost four guys early, about the same time, the end of November, it's just we were dealing with different things from week to week. We were so young, so short on depth. We just had no margin for error.

I was proud of the guys hanging in there, because there were only a couple of games where we were blown out from the jump. We were in it for 32 minutes even against the best teams in the league. We just ran out of gas.

The neat thing, I'm proud of the guys the way they hung in there. They didn't throw in the towel. I talk often through all of that what we achieved academically is the a great testament to the character of our guys. We have seven guys recognized by the league for All-Academic. That says a lot. It says that you've got great character; that you guys didn't throw it in. And I know we can build from that for sure.

Q. Do you have any thoughts on kids making money off their likenesses when they're in college?
WAYNE TINKLE: Yeah, it's another thing I've thought, there is so much money made off of these guys, that's something that I know there was talk a year or so ago where maybe each student-athlete gets a little bit of money that's put away and deferred until their eligibility is done.

But I just -- Jay Bilas is a buddy of mine, but I don't know how much I can support some of the things he says. But, no, there is validity to what we're all getting from these young student-athletes, and maybe with some things that they should be able to get in return.

I do think -- there hasn't been a whole lot of talk about the value of a scholarship and the education that that leads to. I think we forget sometimes that you can't really put a price tag on that and what that could lead to when they get their college degrees. But I also believe that things have evolved to the point where there are a lot of dollars out there, and I know there's a lot of families out there that are struggling, and it would be nice if we could certainly find some ways aboveboard to help them all out.

Q. So what you said earlier, getting to where you guys were a couple years ago, what's it going to take to get this group to that?
WAYNE TINKLE: I think maturity. We still -- even though these guys are the main group, our first recruiting class are now juniors, they're still relatively inexperienced, even though they've got a lot of minutes last year. So we've got to continue to grow.

I made the point earlier in the studio that we've got to understand that we can't win individually. It's got to be a collective effort.

I think with having Tres back, I know the cohesiveness between he and Drew and Stevie and Big G and Kendal, when he's on the floor, everybody really raises their level of focus, of toughness, hunger. So we're hoping that will bring some of that out of some of these other guys.

Then Ethan Thompson is a kid that has been a leader his whole life. He's not afraid to get vocal. First couple of practices in prep for our Spain trip, he was getting after some guys for being a little loose with the ball or maybe not getting back in defensive transition. We need him to continue to be vocal.

I know we've got three or four guys that are capable of being vocal leaders, and I think we just need those game reps to bring that out as we move forward.

Q. Which was your favorite dessert out there? Did you happen to swing by that station?
WAYNE TINKLE: You know, I hesitated, but I did go by. I went for the Beaver sign. I think it looked the healthiest. It was a little custard with the fruit on top. Did you make that?

Q. I didn't make that. Clever idea, though.
WAYNE TINKLE: It was good stuff. I didn't spend very much time there, so I was trying to drop a few (indiscernible).

Q. (Indiscernible)?
WAYNE TINKLE: She's doing great. As you know, she got her nursing degree from Gonzaga and passed her national boards over the summer. She and Joslyn contemplated. They had several offers to play together overseas, but Elle wants to go on with her nursing career. She worked so hard. First female player ever at Gonzaga to go through the nursing program. So she's applied to several hospitals up in the Portland area, and hopefully we'll be getting some good news on that front before long.

Q. What is Joslyn doing?
WAYNE TINKLE: Yeah, Jos, she wanted to go play. But after taking this last year off, she's working for a wine and spirits company in Portland, doing really well. They just got back. They had corporate meetings in Ireland last week. Pretty tough deal. But she's doing great. And the neat thing is she gets home quite a bit, and looking forward to coming back and watching us in another season this year.

Q. (Indiscernible)?
WAYNE TINKLE: Yeah, I guess you could say that. Although she's playing for the Mack (phonetic) club. She's playing in travel --

Q. (Indiscernible) Elle on like the ultimate --
WAYNE TINKLE: Elle will be on the team later this summer. So they play down here at the Olympic club and travel around and play in all these tournaments for gals whose eligibility has expired. I'll put it that way. Fun stuff.

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