KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC men’s basketball team (0-2) continues its opening road trip when it heads to Storrs, Conn., to take on UConn (1-0) at 4 p.m. CT on Sunday, Nov. 11 at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion in the 2K Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project.
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About the Roos
The Roos return four starters from last year’s squad in senior Aleer Leek, juniors Xavier Bishop and Jordan Giles and sophomore Brandon McKissic, while Broderick Robinson is the lone departing starter. UMKC will also welcome back Marco Smith, Marvin Nesbitt, Jr., Steve Dulley and Tony Jackson from last season’s team. Redshirts Danny Dixon, Kaleb Roy and Brandon Suggs will each see their first action in the Blue & Gold, as will incoming juniors Rob Whitfield and Jamel Allen and freshmen Kenny Strawbridge and Will Mangum.
UConn comes into the matchup with a 1-0 record after winning its opening game with Morehead State, 80-70. Sophomore center Josh Carlton scored 17 points on 8-10 shooting and snared eight rebounds while the backcourt duo of Jalen Adams and Alterique Gilbert combined for 31 points on Thursday evening in front of a sold out crowd in Gampel Pavilion. The contest marked the regular-season debut of head coach Dan Hurley.
Last Time Out
The UMKC men’s basketball team (0-2) fell in the opening game of the 2K Classic Benefitting Wounded Warrior Project to Iowa (1-0), 77-63, on Thursday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Roos starting backcourt of Xavier Bishop and Brandon McKissic paced the offense as each finished with a team-high 14 points. Bishop added four assists, four rebounds and a steal, while McKissic knocked down both of his three-point attempts and registered two assists and five rebounds.
This is the first meeting between the Roos and the Huskies.
Jamel Allen joins the Roos in 2018-19 out of Indian Hills Community College where he played in 67 games. During his freshman season he posted a scoring average of 8.5 points, while upping it to 9.7 as a sophomore. During his tenure, Indian Hills combined to go 62-6 and claim two NJCAA Division I Region IX Championships. Allen is originally from Brentwood, N.Y., less than three hours away from Storrs.
In 2017-18, the Roos finished 10-22 overall and 5-9 in WAC play. On the season, UMKC picked up nonconference DI wins over UT Martin, Manhattan and USC Upstate, while the WAC wins came at home to CSU Bakersfield, Seattle U, Utah Valley and Chicago State and a road victory over UTRGV.
The Roos were picked to finish seventh in the WAC Preseason poll by both the coaches and the media, while New Mexico State and Grand Canyon were chosen first and second in both polls.
Xavier Bishop was named to the Preseason All-WAC Second Team by both the conference’s head coaches and the media. Last season, Bishop started 28 games for the Roos, leading the team at 11.6 points and 3.3 assists, while adding 2.9 rebounds and nearly a steal a game. Three times he topped the 20-point mark, including a career-high 25 points at Incarnate Word on Dec. 16.
Head Coach Kareem Richardson
Kareem Richardson enters his sixth season at the helm of the UMKC program in 2018-19 and has led the Roos to unprecedented success during his tenure. He was named the head coach at UMKC on March 19, 2013, becoming the sixth in the Division I era at UMKC. Richardson guided the 2016-17 UMKC squad to the second-most victories in a season (18) in school history. The Roos were selected for a postseason tournament for the first time in the program's 30-year Division I history, which included a victory over Green Bay in the opening round of the College Basketball Invitational. In 2016-17, UMKC set program records for points (2,691), field goals (911), rebounds (1,213), defensive rebounds (860), 3-pointers (315) and free throws (554). The Roos finished second in team history in assists (451) and third in steals (236). UMKC posted the longest winning streak for the program in 12 years from Jan. 31 – Feb. 18, 2017. The Roos got off to the program's best start in 15 years and advanced to the semifinals of the WAC Tournament for the third straight year.
The Blue & Gold will head to Cheney, Wash., to take on Morehead State at 4 p.m. CT on Fri., Nov. 16 in the 2K Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project.
– UMKC –