He may have only finished two years of high school this spring, but Missoula Hellgate basketball forward Tres Tinkle has already caught the eye of recruiters at the college level.
The University of Utah became the first program to offer Tinkle a scholarship and a spot on its roster, both being for the 2015-16 season. The Utes likely won’t be the last to show their interest in the rising Montana star, though.
Mountain West Hoops first reported the offer Saturday morning. The basketball site ranks Tinkle, a 6-foot-6 small forward for the Knights, as its No. 1 player prospect in the region for the class of 2015.
Tinkle, the son of current University of Montana head basketball coach Wayne Tinkle, helped Hellgate win a State AA basketball title this spring. On the way to the school’s fifth state championship, Tinkle averaged a hair under 20 points per game (19.9) to go with 8.3 rebounds per game and a .567 shooting percentage.
The Tinkles do have a connection to Utah. Missoula native Larry Krystowiak is the current coach of the Pac-12 squad and a former head man of the men’s program at UM. Wayne Tinkle succeeded Krystowiak as Griz head coach seven years ago in 2006 after serving as an assistant for five seasons, two under Krystowiak’s regime.
Tinkle, an all-stater as a sophomore, still has two years of eligibility left as a high school player before he has the chance to move on to the college ranks. That means two more seasons to improve and mature as an all-around player.
Should he continue along the path he’s forged so far, quite a few more letters of interest should be showing up at the Tinkle doorstep.