KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC men’s basketball team (1-6) hits the road to take on former conference rival, South Dakota State (5-2) on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. CT at Frost Arena in Brookings, S.D.
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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 17.7 points, while McKissic is at 11.4 and Whitfield is at 11.1. On the glass, Allen (5.3) and Dixon (5.6) lead the squad, while Bishops 3.6 assists also top the team.
The Jacks are the three-time defending Summit League tournament champions, and last year earned the program's first-ever outright Summit regular season title. Last week, SDSU finished fifth at the Gulf Coast Showcase and capped the week with consecutive victories over UTSA and Colorado State. The Jackrabbits carry the nation's longest active home-winning streak (23) in tonight's action and are a combined 29-2 at Frost Arena under third-year head coach T.J. Otzelberger.
Last Time Out
The UMKC men’s basketball team (1-6) picked up its first win of the season against crosstown foe Avila (0-6), 94-58, on Saturday afternoon at Municipal Auditorium. The Roos controlled the game from the 4:30 mark of the first half when they overcame a two-point deficit and closed the half on a 16-0 run with junior guard Xavier Bishop draining a buzzer beating three to give UMKC a 46-32 lead at the break. Bishop finished the contest as the game’s leading scorer with 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field, including 2-of-4 from three-point range, and 4-of-6 from the free throw line, while adding two rebounds and an assist. UMKC dominated the game downlow, out-rebounding the Eagles 45 to 25 and outscoring them in the paint, 36 to 12. Danny Dixon led the charge, as the redshirt junior forward notched a double-double with 14 points, shooting 5-of-6 from the field and 4-of-6 from the line, 10 rebounds and two blocks.
The Roos trail the all-time series with the Jackrabbits 14-6 after dropping the last two contests. UMKC won the first meeting 95-85 in 2005 and went on to win four of the first six. UMKC’s last win, meanwhile, was in 2015, with a 64-57 victory in Muni, while last season SDSU won 85-60 at Muni. This will be the 15th straight season the two teams have met.
Marvin Nesbitt Jr., is in his second season as a Roo after injuries cut short is freshman campaign. On the year, the Chicago native is posting 3.0 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.0 steals, while against Avila, he filled the stat sheet, tallying career-highs of eight rebounds and six assists to go along with four steals and three points.
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 continue their three-game road trip against former conference opponents when they take on Purdue Fort Wayne in Fort Wayne, Ind., on Sat., Dec. 1 at 1 p.m. CT.
– UMKC –