Oregon had a 28-20 lead while Texas Southern was shooting 38 percent from the field when Kenny Wooten fell hard on his knee after going up to try and block a shot Monday night.
After Wooten headed to the locker room with 7:02 left in the first half, Texas Southern guard Jalyn Patterson drove for a layup on the next possession. Wooten would not return due to a bruised knee and the Tigers outscored No. 18 Oregon 69-56 during the final 27 minutes while making 24-of-46 shots from the field to pull off an 89-84 upset at Matthew Knight Arena.
“Kenny’s not out there and you see how many layups they got,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said.
Wooten practiced with the Ducks on Wednesday and Thursday and is expected to be back in the starting lineup when Oregon plays at Houston at 6 p.m. Friday.
“The MRI was fine so I anticipate he will be ready to go,” Altman said.
Altman has noted Oregon’s lack of physicality throughout the season and that became more clear when the 6-foot-9, 235-pound Wooten was sidelined against the Tigers.
Houston’s leading rebounder is 6-8, 260-pounder Breaon Brady with 6.8 per game while 6-5, 230-pound Cedric Alley Jr. averages 5.4 rebounds.
“They are a very physical team,” Altman said. “They have seen the film so they know we haven’t hit anybody. They have seen that and will try to be real physical.”
Freshman forward Louis King will not be cleared to play against the Cougars, but could debut for the Ducks later in December.
The 6-9 freshman, a five-star high school recruit, has been practicing on a limited basis for the past three weeks as he recovers from a torn meniscus suffered in January. Altman said the rehabilitation plan calls for King to be eased back into practice for about a month.
“He’s doing well, progressing well,” Altman said. “He’s frustrated, he wants to go full blast all the time right away, but that is not what we have been instructed to do. We will go slowly here. This is for the long-term. Lou has a long-term future in basketball and if we play well, we still have three and one-half or four months to play yet. No sense in rushing it.”
King will give Oregon another threat on the perimeter.
“HIs consistency has to be better, but he’s a very good shooter,” Altman said.
Oregon has one week between games after playing at Houston on Saturday before returning home to face Nebraska-Omaha on Dec. 8.