LOS ANGELES — Kenny Wooten didn’t play when Oregon beat USC 81-60 last month.
Nick Rakocevic wasn’t on the court for long either.
Rakocevic, the Pac-12’s leader in double-doubles picked up two fouls in the first 200 seconds and went to the bench before returning to finish with 11 points and three rebounds.
USC plans to have Rakocevic available for more minutes in the rematch with Oregon at 6 p.m. Thursday at Galen Center, but the Ducks will have Wooten to match up with him after he missed the first meeting with a broken jaw.
“He’s a good player and he makes a big difference for them,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said of Rakocevic, who has come off the bench in the past two games for USC. “He has made such good progress over his career.”
The 6-foot-11 Rakocevic has boosted his scoring average from 5.2 to 8.1 and now 15.5 in his three seasons with the Trojans. He ranks second in the conference with 9.8 rebounds while compiling 13 double-doubles.
Oregon will get its first look at USC freshman Kevin Porter, who was suspended for the earlier meeting with the Ducks. The 6-foot-6 guard is averaging 9.3 points per game off the bench.
The Ducks may get their last look at 6-10 senior Bennie Boatwright, who has 77 points and 41 rebounds in six career games against Oregon. Boatwright tied the Pac-12 record with 10 three-pointers en route to 36 points during a 89-66 win over California on Saturday.
“We can’t give him open looks,” Altman said. “We have to be very careful there. They bounced back from a couple of disappointing losses and played well against Cal. That is a talented team from top to bottom and when they get going, they are a very good team.”
USC (14-12) is in fifth place in the conference, one-half game ahead of the sixth-place Ducks (15-10, 6-6).
“We are 15-10 and we were hoping to be better at this stage, but we are not,” Altman said. “We need to focus in on the next six games and try to get better. Four of them are on the road, so that will not be an easy task.”
The Ducks shot 55.8 percent from the field in the win over USC on Jan. 13 while making 13-of-24 3-pointers.
“On any given night, we have the ability with the shooters and scorers on this team to have a good offensive night,” UO sophomore guard Victor Bailey said. “Really, it is the defensive end where we need to lock in. That is the only thing we can control. Some nights you are going to hit shots and some you are not, but defense is something that is constant.”
USC shot 42.6 percent in its most lopsided conference loss of the season against the Ducks.
“We shot it well and had a pretty good awareness of where there scorers were,” Altman said. “We played hard, outrebounded them by 11 and did some good things.”
Louis King led the Ducks with 19 points and eight rebounds against the Trojans. He is expected to play Thursday although he missed a couple of practices early in the week after injuring his shooting hand in Saturday’s 72-57 loss against Oregon State.
Oregon would move as high as fifth place in the conference and claim the tiebreaker over the Trojans with a win as they seek one of the four first-round byes in next month’s conference tournament.
“They did not play as well against us as they have been playing lately,” Altman said. “They are a different team at home like a lot of college teams are so we will have to play real well.”