Kirk Hinrich felt some mental anguish but no physical pain after Kansas UniversityÃ¢ÂÂs 84-78 menÃ¢ÂÂs basketball loss to Oregon on Saturday at the Rose Garden.
The 6-foot-3 senior said his strained back didnÃ¢ÂÂt bother him a bit during his 24-point, 39-minute outing.
Ã¢ÂÂIt feels good,Ã¢ÂÂ said Hinrich, who didnÃ¢ÂÂt play in WednesdayÃ¢ÂÂs victory over Central Missouri State; he received treatment for several days after KUÃ¢ÂÂs return from the Preseason NIT in New York. Ã¢ÂÂThe doctors didnÃ¢ÂÂt think it was serious. I received treatment and was ready to play.Ã¢ÂÂ
Hinrich looked like he sprained his ankle in the second half, but said that wasnÃ¢ÂÂt the case.
Ã¢ÂÂI was just cramping. I donÃ¢ÂÂt know if it was not doing anything for a week or not,Ã¢ÂÂ Hinrich said.
The fact his back felt OK wasnÃ¢ÂÂt the only good thing to come out of the game, he noted.
He liked the spunk KU showed in battling back from a 14-point first-half deficit.
Ã¢ÂÂI think we made some steps,Ã¢ÂÂ he said. Ã¢ÂÂWe had the fight tonight we didnÃ¢ÂÂt have in the past (in losses to North Carolina and Florida). We didnÃ¢ÂÂt do some little things we could have done to change the outcome of the game. ThatÃ¢ÂÂs unfortunate.
Ã¢ÂÂI donÃ¢ÂÂt know if it is nerves or what, but this team is still trying to find itself. WeÃ¢ÂÂre not going to give up. WeÃ¢ÂÂre going to stick together. This team will accept nothing but winning.Ã¢ÂÂÃ¢ÂÂ¢
Career-best game in hometown: KU sophomore Michael Lee of Portland scored a career-high 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds in 20 minutes.
He hit his only three-point try and made four of five free throws, looking good before a big contingent of fans who had watched him play football and basketball at PortlandÃ¢ÂÂs Jefferson High.
Ã¢ÂÂI tried to be ready to play. It was a boost playing in front of friends and family members,Ã¢ÂÂ Lee said. Ã¢ÂÂI know what IÃ¢ÂÂm capable of. The biggest thing is I played hard. That should never surprise anybody.Ã¢ÂÂ
The 6-3, 215-pound Lee spent time at both guard and power forward.
Yes, power forward.
Somebody had to step in with Nick Collison and Wayne Simien in foul trouble most of the game.
Ã¢ÂÂTonight I was a guard and forward, a little of both,Ã¢ÂÂ said Lee, who received the bulk of the bench minutes with Jeff Graves and Moulaye Niang.
Ã¢ÂÂThe bench was important for us tonight. ItÃ¢ÂÂs a big key because both Nick and Wayne were in foul trouble,Ã¢ÂÂ Lee said. Ã¢ÂÂWe had to come in and do the job.Ã¢ÂÂ
LeeÃ¢ÂÂs best friend, fellow Portland native Aaron Miles, struggled big-time in his return home.
Miles missed 10 of 11 shots, including four of five threes. He had four points, four assists and seven turnovers.
Ã¢ÂÂI think Aaron played well at times, but at times he could have been more poised,Ã¢ÂÂ Lee said. Ã¢ÂÂCoach even mentioned that.Ã¢ÂÂ
Lee said it was fun playing in Portland.
Ã¢ÂÂTo have 20,000 fans, it reminded me some of Allen Fieldhouse. I think it was big for the city of Portland,Ã¢ÂÂ Lee said. Ã¢ÂÂOregon has a great program and great team. ItÃ¢ÂÂs always good to see family. Coach let me go home and see my family a couple of hours, but we were here on business.Ã¢ÂÂÃ¢ÂÂ¢
Langford pots 21: Sophomore Keith Langford scored 21 points, including 14 in the second half.
Ã¢ÂÂWhen we tied it we had a lot of momentum at that point. I thought weÃ¢ÂÂd pull it out,Ã¢ÂÂ Langford said of KU forging a 74-all tie at 3:46 on his jumper in the lane.
Oregon, however, scored with three minutes left on a stickback by Luke Jackson.
Ã¢ÂÂWe didnÃ¢ÂÂt do a very good job of responding down the stretch,Ã¢ÂÂ he said.Ã¢ÂÂ¢
Proud papa: Michael LeeÃ¢ÂÂs dad, John, wore a No. 25 KU jersey and snapped photos during warmups. Several of MilesÃ¢ÂÂ relatives wore No. 11 jerseys.
Ã¢ÂÂI was just telling the AD (Al Bohl) that weÃ¢ÂÂre so happy coach Williams does this for the kids,Ã¢ÂÂ John Lee said. Ã¢ÂÂWeÃ¢ÂÂre so happy for Michael and Aaron, first that they are playing at a school like Kansas, but to come home and have the opportunity to play before people whoÃ¢ÂÂve supported them all their lives Ã¢ÂÂ: weÃ¢ÂÂre excited and they are excited.Ã¢ÂÂÃ¢ÂÂ¢
Stats, facts: KU is 3-3 for the first time since the 1979-80 squad opened with the same record after six games. Ã¢ÂÂ: KU is 0-2 against top-25 teams this season, 64-48 against ranked foes under Roy Williams. Ã¢ÂÂ: Oregon had just one offensive rebound in the first half. Ã¢ÂÂ: Hinrich and Miles played all 20 minutes of the first half. Ã¢ÂÂ: Collison, who scored seven points, had scored in double figures in nine straight games. Ã¢ÂÂ: HinrichÃ¢ÂÂs 19 field-goal attempts mark the most by a Jayhawk this season. Ã¢ÂÂ: KUÃ¢ÂÂs only lead was 6-5 after LangfordÃ¢ÂÂs dunk in the first half. Ã¢ÂÂ: Collison was forced to the bench at the 7:55 mark of the first half after picking up his third foul. At that point, Collison had five of KUÃ¢ÂÂs 19 points. Just over a minute later, Wayne Simien picked up his third foul. He had eight of KUÃ¢ÂÂs 21 points before heading to the pine. Ã¢ÂÂ: For the second straight game, KU allowed seven first-half threes. Ã¢ÂÂ: LeeÃ¢ÂÂs 11 points marked a career high. His previous best was seven against Pittsburg State last year. Ã¢ÂÂ: KU had a season-high 22 turnovers.