Dana Altman’s scouting report on Oregon State hasn’t changed much for the rematch.
“They’ve got three real good scorers with the Thompson brothers and Tres Tinkle,” Altman noted. “Those three guys are very aggressive and the other guys play their roles well.”
Oregon State will notice a few differences for the Ducks, mainly the addition of Kenny Wooten, who sat out OSU’s 77-72 win at Oregon on Jan. 5 due to a broken jaw.
That was the second of four games the Ducks were without Wooten, who missed practice Wednesday due to an illness but is expected to be ready when Oregon (15-9, 6-5) visits the Beavers (15-8, 7-4) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Gill Coliseum.
“Kenny has made a tremendous difference in a number of games,” Altman said. “Arizona, Stanford, games we have been successful in, he’s made a big difference. Games he has not played in, we haven’t been very good. He got hurt in the first five minutes against Texas Southern and we lost. He did not play against UCLA and Oregon State and we were not very good.
"He is going to have to stay out of foul trouble and make some plays. Stanford was the best performance I have seen from him. From the start, he set the tone and when he got two fouls, our defense broke down after that. It is obvious how much he means to us.”
Wooten had six points, six rebounds, two assists and seven blocked shots in Sunday’s 69-46 win over the Cardinal, which shot 27.3 percent from the field.
“Kenny has a feel of how he needs to play,” UO senior Paul White said. “His last game was incredible. He needs to continue that aggression on the defensive end as well as the offensive end.”
Freshman Francis Okoro got the start in the loss to Oregon State, but will come off the bench with Wooten back in the starting lineup. Freshman Miles Norris had played in only three games before facing the Beavers for the first time.
“We were still trying to get adjusted to Kenny not being there,” White said. “Francis was adjusting to more playing time and Miles was adjusting. Those are players who have made tremendous strides since then.”
Oregon shot 37.7 percent from the field and was out rebounded 38-29 last month against the Beavers, but used its press to rally from an 18-point deficit in the second half to take a 72-71 lead with 1:10 to play before OSU scored the final six points.
“We didn’t play worth a darn,” Altman said. “We missed a lot of shots at the rim and gave up easy baskets when we turned it over.”
White has battled an ankle injury for the past four weeks, but was able to practice this week.
“It feels as good as it has felt since I hurt it,” he said. “I felt like I had to do what was best for the team and try to go out here, I at least wanted to set an example. Try and fight through adversity rather than give up on it. It took a long time, but I am here now.”
Oregon has won four of its last five games to move into fifth place in the Pac-12, one game back of the third-place Beavers. The Ducks play five of their final seven games on the road as they seek to move up and secure one of four first-round byes in the conference tournament.
“As inexperienced as we are, we just have to worry about the next game so I hope the guys focus on that,” Altman said. “We have to play our best. Oregon State had a week off and they are healthy and ready to go. They defined their roles right from the start and they have been who they are for a long time. We changed roles so many times that hopefully even though the schedule goes against us, we can finish strong.”
Tinkle leads the Beavers with 20.5 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. Stephen Thompson Jr. is scoring 16.0 points per game while his brother, Ethan, is at 13.8.
Seven-foot junior Kylor Kelley, who played at Northwest Christian and Lane Community College, ranks second in the nation with 3.5 blocks per game to go with averages of 7.5 points and 5.5 rebounds for the Beavers, who have not swept a season series from the Ducks since 2009-10.