KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC men’s basketball team (3-7) will look for its second straight win and fourth in its last five games when it welcomes in Milwaukee (2-8) to Municipal Auditorium for a 6 p.m. CT contest on Thu., Dec. 13.
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 17.0 points, while McKissic is at 10.3 and Whitfield is at 12.3. On the glass, Allen (4.8) and Dixon (5.1) lead the squad, while Bishops 4.3 assists also top the team.
Milwaukee enters the matchup with a 2-8 record overall, picking up its wins in back-to-back contest over New York schools LIU Brooklyn and Albany, while falling to common opponent Drake. Darius Roy leads the team at 15.4 points, with Carson Warren-Newsome as the only other player in double figures at 10.4 points. DeAndre Abram, meanwhile, is averaging 8.7 points and a team-high 7.9 rebounds.
Last Time Out
The UMKC men’s basketball team (3-7) erased a 10-point halftime deficit to knock-off South Dakota (4-5), 65-63, on Saturday afternoon at the Sanford Coyote Sports Center. The score was tied with under 20 seconds left to play after a made free throw by South Dakota, but Xavier Bishop drew a foul with :01 left on the clock and buried the two ensuing free throws to lift UMKC to a 65-63 victory. Bishop finished with team-high’s of 15 points and seven assists for the Roos.
Milwaukee holds the lead in the all-time series 6-5 after picking up a 65-56 win on Dec. 3, 2014 in Milwaukee.
Roos Player of the Week
With the score tied at 63-63 with :01 remaining, Xavier Bishop was fouled and made both free throws to give his team the 65-63 road victory at South Dakota, tallied a team-high 15 points, and tied a season-high with seven assists. He has reached a team-best in scoring figures in seven of the team's 10 games.
UMKC won back-to-back road games for the first time since 2014-15 when they beat Utah Valley 66-59 in Orem on Jan. 31. 2015 and Chicago State 61-50 in Chicago on Feb. 14, 2015 with their victories over Purdue Fort Wayne and South Dakota.
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 continue their homestand when they host McNeese on Sat. Dec. 15 at 6 p.m. CT in Municipal Auditorium.
– UMKC –