Courtesy: UMKC Athletics/MSH Photography
Kansas City Hosts Defending WAC Champ New Mexico State Saturday
Courtesy:UMKC Athletics
Release:01/17/2014

New Mexico St. Aggies (14-6, 3-1) At UMKC Kangaroos (5-11, 2-2)

Date / Time: January 18, 2014 - 7:05 p.m. CST
Site: Kansas City, Mo. / Municipal Auditorium (9,827)
TV: KSMO - Kansas City / ESPN3
      Talent: Neil Harwell (p-b-p), JC Pearson (analyst)
Radio: 810 AM WHB
      Talent: Steven Davis (p-b-p), Steven St. John (analyst)
Webcast: UMKCKangaroos.com (Subscribers)
Live Stats:  UMKCKangaroos.com
Twitter: @TheUMKCRoos or @UMKCMensHoops  #WACHoops
Series:  First meeting
      Home: 0-0
      Away: 0-0
      Neutral: 0-0
      Last Meeting: N/A
      Richardson vs. Opponent: 0-0

 

THE GAME
The ‘Roos will look to try and salvage their home stand on Saturday when defending WAC Tournament champion New Mexico State comes to town. The Aggies come in off their first WAC loss on Thursday night to Chicago State, while UMKC comes off two straight home losses.
UMKC Last 5: 2-3, last time out lost to UTPA, 78-66.
NMSU Last 5: 4-1, last time out lost to Chicago State, 86-81.

QUICK NOTES
- Kansas City has started the home portion of its WAC schedule 0-2, after going 2-0 on the road. The league race is tight as every team has at least a win, and no team has more than three wins.
- UMKC has forced 245 turnovers from opponents this season, an average of 15.3 per game. Its average of 8.8 steals per game leads the WAC and ranks 16th in the nation.
- Seniors Kirk Korver, Trinity Hall, Fred Chatmon and Nelson Kirksey are ranked in the top 50 in all-time in scoring as Hall is at No. 15 with 800 points, Korver is 33rd with 573, Chatmon is 39th at 496 and Kirksey is 44th with 455.
- Trinity Hall is one of four players in school history to have at least 800 points, 350 rebounds and 50 blocks. He joined the club with Michael Jackson, David Robinson and Darecko Rawlins.
- Martez Harrison’s current 15.9 ppg would rank No. 3 in the freshman scoring average ranks at UMKC, he currently leads all freshmen scorers in the WAC, and sits 10th in the nation.
- The UMKC non-conference strength of schedule was ranked No. 29 in the nation as of Friday. The ‘Roos RPI of 210 is fourth in the WAC.
- Kansas City announced February 7, 2013 that it would be going to the WAC. This is the first season as a member of the new conference after 19 years in the Summit League.
- UMKC hired new head coach Kareem Richardson on March 19, 2013. He helped Louisville win the National Championship last season as an assistant under Rick Pitino.
- There are seven players on the roster from the Kansas City area, more than any UMKC team in the Division I era.

SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
New Mexico State, the defending WAC Tournament Champions, came into the week on a seven-game winning streak, but dropped its first league game on Thursday at Chicago State. The Aggies are 3-1 in WAC play, and 14-6 overall.
     They are led by preseason WAC Player of the Year Daniel Mullings, who is averaging 16.9 points (3rd in the WAC), 2.2 steals (1st in the WAC) and 4.3 rebounds a game to go with 3.5 assists a contest (6th in the WAC). DK Eldridge ranks second on the team with 11.7 points, while four others avereage better than eight points a game. Tshilliszi Nephawe  and Sim Bhullar lead the team with 7.3 and 7.4 rebounds a game, but Bhullar has been out the last four games due to injury.
     As a team the Aggies lead the WAC in both offense and defense. They shoot 48 percent from the floor and score 78.2 points per game, while allowing opponents to shoot only 40.8 percent.

THE COACHES
Kareem Richardson is in his first season as the head coach at UMKC, posting a 5-11 record. He was named the sixth coach in the Division I era on March 19, 2013 after helping Louisville to a National Championship last season as an assistant under Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino.
     He brings 13 years of Division I coaching experience to the fold, as well as four years playing at the Division I level, graduating from Evansville in 1997.
     Marvin Menzies is in his seventh season at New Mexico State and boasts a 140-85 overall record there. He has led the Aggies to the NCAA Tournament three times, winning the WAC Tournament in 2010, 2012 and 2013. He has also led NMSU to four 20-win seasons.

THE SERIES
     The ‘Roos are facing the Aggies in men’s basketball for the first time in school history.
     Kansas City has faced only one other team from the state, falling to New Mexico in 2011 on the road.

 A WIN WOULD MEAN...
- Kansas City would have won their first home game since December 18 vs. Miami.
- UMKC would have won their second game this season at Municipal Auditorium.

 

UP NEXT
The ‘Roos will head back out on the road, facing Utah Valley and Bakersfield on Thursday and Saturday, respectively.
     The ‘Roos are 2-5 against Utah Valley all-time, going 0-3 in Orem. This will be the eight meeting, but first as conference foes. Utah Valley took a 78-66 win in Kansas City on January 9 of last season.

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