A standing ovation -- like the one Jeff Boschee received last year in North Dakota -- probably is out of the question.
Yet Portland natives Aaron Miles and Michael Lee figure to hear more cheers than boos before, during and after SaturdayÃ¢ÂÂs Kansas University-Oregon menÃ¢ÂÂs basketball game in Portland, Ore.
Tip-off is 2:30 p.m. Central time at the Rose Garden. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
Oregon basketball coach Ernie Kent said the expected sellout crowd would cheer KUÃ¢ÂÂs Oregonians, who played at PortlandÃ¢ÂÂs Jefferson High.
Ã¢ÂÂOh yes,Ã¢ÂÂ Kent said. Ã¢ÂÂThis state is knowledgeable about basketball and appreciative of kids like Aaron and Michael. Aaron is a local hometown hero.
Ã¢ÂÂHe had a great basketball career here and did a lot for state of Oregon high school basketball. This is not an environment where people will boo him and get all over him. ThatÃ¢ÂÂs not going to happen here. TheyÃ¢ÂÂll be very gracious heÃ¢ÂÂs back here playing, I think.Ã¢ÂÂ
Miles and Lee sure hope so. After all, they watched in amazement last December as North Dakotans gave favorite son Boschee a pair of standing ovations before the KU-UND game in Grand Forks, N.D.
Ã¢ÂÂI believe theyÃ¢ÂÂll cheer for us,Ã¢ÂÂ said the 6-foot-1 Miles, a prep All-American who chose KU instead of UCLA, Arizona and, to a lesser extent, Oregon. Ã¢ÂÂThere will be a lot of Jayhawk fans there. The game is in Portland and they like to cheer hometown players.Ã¢ÂÂ
Lee agreed with his teammate.
Ã¢ÂÂI think weÃ¢ÂÂll get a good reception from the crowd,Ã¢ÂÂ the 6-3 guard said. Ã¢ÂÂI think the crowd will appreciate us being home. I just donÃ¢ÂÂt want to say (the reception) will be too great and have it be much less than that.Ã¢ÂÂ
The Portland products, who each receive an allotment of four tickets but can borrow from their teammates, will have built-in cheering sections at the game.
Ã¢ÂÂIf I wanted everybody I know to come IÃ¢ÂÂd need about 50 at the minimum, which I donÃ¢ÂÂt have,Ã¢ÂÂ Lee said. Ã¢ÂÂI need to start around 50. Aaron might need 80 or something. He has more family, cousins and aunts than I do.Ã¢ÂÂ
Ã¢ÂÂI need like 100 or so,Ã¢ÂÂ said Miles, who exploded for a career-high 20 points Wednesday night in a 97-70 victory against Central Missouri State. Ã¢ÂÂI have a lot of family and friends real close to me. Me and Mike will have to get as many as we can (from teammates) and split Ã¢ÂÂem up.Ã¢ÂÂ
Both players are relishing the trip home. The Jayhawks flew to Portland on Thursday night and will return after the game Saturday.
Ã¢ÂÂMan, I just love it,Ã¢ÂÂ Miles said. Ã¢ÂÂI canÃ¢ÂÂt pick one thing, I just love going back and getting to see my friends and my family. I love having fun with my friends.Ã¢ÂÂ
Ã¢ÂÂOther than family and friends IÃ¢ÂÂd like to say my favorite thing about Portland is the Blazers, but they are off and on a lot of times,Ã¢ÂÂ Lee said of the cityÃ¢ÂÂs NBA franchise.
Lee and Miles, who have been best buddies since second grade when they played on the same baseball team -- Lee was catcher, Miles a second baseman and shortstop ÃiÂ¿Â½" followed pro basketball more than college as youths.
As such, they had no deep-seated desire to attend either Oregon or Oregon State.
Ã¢ÂÂWe recruited Aaron, but we had Luke Ridnour in the program,Ã¢ÂÂ DucksÃ¢ÂÂ coach Kent said of his flashy, 6-2 junior from Blaine, Wash. Ã¢ÂÂWe looked at getting two great point guards, but one of the two would have to sacrifice to move to the 2 (shooting guard).
Ã¢ÂÂHeÃ¢ÂÂd have been great in our program. WeÃ¢ÂÂd loved to have him. HeÃ¢ÂÂs a great kid, an in-state player. As it turns out he made a terrific decision because obviously heÃ¢ÂÂs had an enormous amount of success at Kansas.Ã¢ÂÂ
Brandon Lincoln, a 6-4 freshman guard, played prep ball with the KU pair at Jefferson.
Ã¢ÂÂHeÃ¢ÂÂs a great athlete, has great size. Aaron has talked to him a couple of times. IÃ¢ÂÂm going to try to get a hold of him, talk to him a bit before the game,Ã¢ÂÂ Lee said.
The Ducks will be sky-high playing before an expected sellout crowd of 18,927. The previous record crowd to watch a college game in Oregon was 15,431 at last yearÃ¢ÂÂs Duke-Portland game at the Rose Garden, where Oregon has played in the past.
Ã¢ÂÂI think they are looking for redemption. They want to get us back,Ã¢ÂÂ Lee said. Ã¢ÂÂIt should be a good game.Ã¢ÂÂ