Prepare to take flight with true freshman Kenny Wooten this season. The athletic freak of nature is ready to create a presence down low for the Ducks. A high-energy, positive presence like Wooten is a welcomed addition to Dana Altman’s squad.
Welcome to our newest series! In the spirit of the upcoming basketball season, ATQ takes a look at five freshmen added to the Ducks’ 2017-18 roster. We will also give redshirt freshman M.J. Cage his rightful preview as our special sixth edition to our new segment.
Chronologically, we started with No. 0 Troy Brown. Now, we move onto the No. 1 spot.
WE WERE MERELY FRESHMEN
Don’t let age fool you with this young Oregon team. The Ducks have players at every position, especially the man in the middle Kenny Wooten. The Manteca, Calif. product played his high school ball in Las Vegas and is seemingly growing overnight, literally.
Wooten is now listed at 6-foot-9 on the official Oregon roster. That would actually be a quarter-inch taller than Jordan Bell’s rookie measurements with the Golden State Warriors. Give it time, but eventually he will make you scream, “woot! woot!” nightly.
DEEP IN THE WOODS
The Cali kid seems to be enjoying his time in Eugene. Since his arrival on campus, Wooten has seriously taken the opportunity to get better. From a media perspective, it looks like he wants to be great and has a good head on his shoulders.
Troy Brown, Victor Bailey, MiKyle McIntosh, Abu Kigab and Kenny Wooten learning Oregon’s motion. Wooten also showing off his athleticism. pic.twitter.com/qD0f26qmQA— Gus Morris (@JustGusMorris) October 6, 2017
KNOW YOUR ROLE
Wooten should start. There is nobody else on this roster with his unique skill set. Not only can he play the ‘center’ role on offense, but he will be the backbone of the defense. He will manage and control the space in the paint with a superior wingspan.
From the moment I saw his highlights, I couldn’t get Jordan Bell out of my head. Bell was a late-bloomer with concern to his height. Wooten seems to be built along the same lines. He enters Oregon taller than Bell was when he left.
It’s all about Wooten’s maturity when on the floor. How much can he digest offensively? Will Altman simplify the game for him until he’s ready to dominate? Is he ready defensively? These are the questions on my mind heading into the season.
Last but certainly not least, let’s take a look at some of Wooten’s highlights over his impressive high school career. Another standout athlete from Nevada, like Brown, who is looking to take the Pac-12 by storm in 2017.
The next 16 days at ATQ will be jam-packed with Oregon basketball prep, including player profiles, predictions, previews, interviews, breakdowns and a few history lessons. Every day, we will have something new as we count you down to opening night.
Ready or not? We’re less than a month away from the 2017-18 season! If you need your Duck basketball fix asap, join us at MKA on Saturday for a great cause as Oregon hosts Idaho in an exhibition at 11:00 a.m. local time. The women tip at 9:30 a.m. vs PSU.