Hellgate's Tinkle already making noise on summer hoops circuit

2014-04-08T20:00:00Z 2014-08-25T18:25:11Z Hellgate's Tinkle already making noise on summer hoops circuit The Billings Gazette

Tres Tinkle is at it again. The 6-foot-7 Missoula Hellgate junior is already making waves playing spring basketball.

Tinkle attracted a lot of attention with his play on the AAU circuit last summer, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. On Tuesday, Joel Francisco of ESPN.com recognized Tinkle as the best player at Sunday’s Earl Watson Elite Scouts Camp in Colorado.

“(Tinkle) has a knack of finding ways to score at all three levels,” Francisco wrote, “and his ability to attack the basket is uncanny. He needs to polish his off hand while attacking, but he is a top-50 national recruit.”

That’s high praise for Tinkle, who averaged 21.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.35 blocks per game during the past regular season for Hellgate. Most scouting services have him ranked just outside the top 100 nationally, but he could definitely see those rankings improve with strong showings this summer.

Tinkle has received offers from Boston College, Southern California and Utah, while also drawing interest from California, Gonzaga, Colorado, Arizona State, Oregon State and Davidson according to Francisco’s ESPN.com post. Tinkle said he likely won’t take any visits until the fall, listing unofficial visits to Cal and USC as possibilities.

“I played pretty well (at the camp),” Tinkle said. “They just loved how hard I played and said I did it all, from being a versatile scorer as well as a good defender, blocking shots, getting boards and overall defense.”

ESPN.com’s scouting report on Tinkle, which was recently updated April 2, projects him as a four-star recruit. The report lists Tinkle’s “high basketball IQ due to his passing and overall feel for the game” as one of his strengths, while saying he needs to continue to develop his “inside-out skills as well as his fundamentals while operating in the paint.”

The reports are ESPN.com Insider premium paid content, but you can find Francisco’s post here and the scouting report here.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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