KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC men’s basketball team (0-3) continues its opening road trip when it heads to Cheney. Wash., for the 2K Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project.
The Roos will open on Friday night against Morehead State (1-2) at 4:30 p.m. CT while Saturday’s contest will be against either Green Bay (1-2) or Eastern Washington (0-2).
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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.
Morehead State enters the contest with a 1-2 mark on the season, knocking-off Kentucky Christian and falling to UConn and Syracuse.
Eastern Washington enters the tournament with a mark of 0-2 on the year, falling to Syracuse and Oregon thus far.
Green Bay has a 1-2 mark in the early going of the season, beating Wisconsin Lutheran, while falling to Indiana State and Iowa.
Last Time Out
The UMKC men’s basketball team (0-3) dropped its contest with perennial powerhouse UConn (2-0) on Sunday afternoon at Gampel Pavilion, 94-66. Danny Dixon led the Roos in the loss, scoring a career-high 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field and 3-of-4 from the free throw line, while adding a team-high six rebounds and a steal. Brandon McKissic was the only other Roo in double figures, scoring 10 points, his third time reaching double figures in as many games this season, with three assists, two steals and two rebounds.
vs. Morehead State – UMKC leads 4-0, Jan. 30, 1993, W, UMKC 83, MSU 75
vs. Green Bay – Tied, 1-1, Mar. 15, 2016, W, UMKC 92, GB 82
vs. Eastern Washington – Tied, 1-1, Dec. 18, 2008, W, UMKC 68, EWU 61
Jordan Giles is in his third year in the Blue & Gold and is tied for the second longest tenured Roo with Xavier Bishop and behind only Aleer Leek. This season, Giles is at 4.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists.
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 be back in action again on Nov. 21 when they welcome in Drake to Kansas City for the home opener at Municipal Auditorium at 6 p.m. CT.
– UMKC –