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Arizona center Chase Jeter out Thursday with back injury; USC’s Kevin Porter Jr. to return from suspension

Well, the outlook of this game has certainly changed

NCAA Basketball: Pac-12 Media Day D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Wildcats center Chase Jeter is out Thursday against the USC Trojans due to the back injury he suffered last Saturday against Oregon State.

The Wildcats’ announced starting lineup includes Ryan Luther at center and Dylan Smith at power forward, along with the usual backcourt of Brandon Williams, Justin Coleman, and Brandon Randolph.

UA coach Sean Miller said Wednesday that Jeter is progressing, but is still limited by the injury, which has been characterized as back spasms. Jeter did not practice Monday or Tuesday, before doing some light work Wednesday before the team left for Los Angeles.

“I would just categorize Chase as he’s making progress,” Miller said. “When you have a lower back injury ... there’s a stiffness that just is overwhelming, and it affects your movement and it strips you of your confidence to some degree, because every time you turn, land, get ready to jump, you really think about it.”

Meanwhile, the Trojans are getting a big boost to their lineup Thursday in the form of Kevin Porter Jr., per Joey Kaufman of the Orange County Register. The highly-touted freshman has only appeared in seven games this season, held out by a thigh injury and, most recently, a suspension for “conduct issues.”

The former five-star recruit is averaging 10.7 points per game on 51 percent shooting. Thursday’s game was considered a toss-up by oddsmakers, but this news would seem to swing things in USC’s favor.