KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC men’s basketball team (3-8) will host McNeese State (3-6) on Saturday, Dec. 15 afternoon at 6 p.m. in Municipal Auditorium.
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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.
Early on this season, Bishop tops the Roos at 16.9 points, while Whitfield is at 12.5. On the glass, Dixon (5.1) leads the squad, while Bishops 4.4 assists also top the team.
The Cowboys, who have already logged more than 9,000 miles in non-conference road games this season, will add to it for Saturday's game. McNeese (3-6) rallied from a 10-point, second half deficit on Thursday night to defeat NCCU by 16 points. The Cowboys knocked down 52 percent of their shots in the second half and put together a 28-12 run in the final 8:31 to run away with the win. Four McNeese players scored in double-figures, led by James Harvey's 19 points. Malik Hines added 15 points while Roydell Brown scored 12 and Will Robinson 10. Brown recorded his fourth double-double on the season when 11 rebounds as well. Harvey leads the team with 13.1 points scored per game on the season while Hines is averaging 13.0. Brown tops the team with 9.0 rebounds per game.
Last Time Out
Milwaukee closed the game on a 12-0 run to swipe a 69-66 win away from UMKC tonight in men’s college basketball at Municipal Auditorium. Leading 66-57 with 2:45 remaining, the Roos went cold from the floor and turned the ball over that led to the winning points. Roy Darius connected on a lay-up with 15 seconds left to give Milwaukee (3-8) a one-point lead and Amir Allen iced the game with a pair of free throws for the final score.
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 head to Mount Pleasant, Mich., on Dec. 19 to take on Central Michigan at 6 p.m. CT.
– UMKC –