On Saturday night the #1-ranked Houston Cougars barely escaped with a win at Oklahoma thanks to a last-second Jamal Shead baseline jumper, but even after coming away with the victory, the Cougars didn't make it through the weekend unscathed.

“Houston freshman JoJo Tugler broke a bone in his right foot and will miss the remainder of the 2023-24 season, coach Kelvin Sampson told reporters Monday, per Brendan Marks and CJ Moore of The Athletic. “Sampson also confirmed that Tugler will have surgery on Thursday.”

JoJo Tugler, a 6'7″ true freshman who plays 16 minutes per game, is averaging 3.8 points and 4.1 rebounds per game in his first season at Houston. Those numbers may seem insignificant, but dig a little deeper and you'll find that Tugler is one of the most effective defensive players in the Big 12 on a per-minute basis, and his plus-minus is the third-best among all players in the Cougars regular rotation. And for a team whose calling card is its defense — Houston allows the fewest points per game (57.2) in the country and currently boasts the NCAA's best Defensive Rating (88.2) — a loss of this magnitude is huge.

“That’s a big hit. Everyone will try to figure out what it means for us,” Sampson told reporters. “But that’s a human being with a broken foot, who’s invested his entire life into this season.”

This season the Cougars are looking to make history by winning the Big 12 regular season title in their first season in the conference, and potentially come early April, winning the first National Championship in school history.