KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC men’s basketball team (2-7) will look to pick up its second straight victory when it heads to Vermillion, S.D., to take on former Summit League rival South Dakota (4-4) at 1 p.m. on Dec. 8.
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.
Early on this season, Bishop tops the Roos at 17.2 points, while McKissic is at 11.0 and Whitfield is at 12.3. On the glass, Allen (4.8) and Dixon (5.1) lead the squad, while Bishops 4.0 assists also top the team.
South Dakota is 4-4 after topping CSU Bakersfield 68-56 Saturday and falling to Colorado 82-58 on Tuesday. Senior Trey Burch-Manning continues to lead the Coyotes with 15.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. He is joined in double-digit scoring by Triston Simpson at 13.0 and Tyler Peterson at 11.5. Defensively, South Dakota has proven stout allowing just 63.8 points per game.
Last Time Out
UMKC Men’s Basketball used balanced scoring to win its first road contest of the year in the 90-73 defeat of Purdue Fort Wayne this afternoon from the Memorial Coliseum. Rob Whitfield led the way with a game-best 23 points for the Roos (2-7). Xavier Bishop chipped in 20 points and four other UMKC players tallied at least 10 points. The story of the game was taking care of the ball. The Roos scored 26 points off of 17 Purdue Fort Wayne (5-5) turnovers. Conversely, UMKC posted a season-low three turnovers. To complement the efficient offense, the Roos shot 52.1 percent (37-of-71) from the field, converting 13-of-28 (.464) from three-point range. Whitfield was one of the highlights as he was 7-of-9 from beyond the arc.
South Dakota leads the all-time series between the two squads 4-3 after picking up an 82-63 win a season ago.
Danny Dixon is in his first season donning the Blue & Gold after sitting out last year as a transfer from George Mason. This season, the junior forward tops the Roos at 5.1 rebounds per contest and has started eight of the nine games. Dixon is fourth on the team in scoring at 7.9 points and notched the Roos lone double-double this season with 14 points and 10 rebounds against Avila.
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 return to Kansas City on Dec. 13 when they welcome in Milwaukee to Municipal Auditorium for a 6 p.m. CT contest.
– UMKC –