Roos Host Utah Valley Thursday
UMKC Athletics 1-22-2019
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- UMKC (7-12, 2-2 WAC) comes back home for a date with Utah Valley (13-7, 2-3 WAC) at Swinney Center on Thursday. Tip is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT as the first 200 fans receive a rally towel. The Roos have a distinct advantage at home with a 5-2 record this year (Municipal Auditorium: 3-2; Swinney Center: 2-0).


#TeamKC Notes

  • The contest - in addition to the Saturday home game against Seattle -- will be a part of the “Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Week.” The initiative is a nationwide event, sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Head coach Kareem Richardson will be wearing a special tie and gold shoe laces to show his support.
  • Last time out - The Roos started slow as the Grand Canyon Lopes handed UMKC a 78-50 defeat Saturday, Jan. 19 in Phoenix. UMKC trailed 12-0 out of the gates and never recovered. Xavier Bishop led the club with 11 points in spite of playing just 21 minutes.
  • After opening the year 0-6, UMKC has gone 7-6 since that winless start. The key to success in that turnaround has been shooting the basketball better. Here is the breakdown:
    • 0-6 start            7-6 stretch
    • 38.7 FG%         46.1 FG%
    • 32.9 3-pt FG%  36.5 3-pt FG%
    • 67.7 ppg           73.0 ppg
    • 7.7 3-pt’s/game 8.3 3-pt’s/game
    • 64.6 FT%         66.5 FT%
  • With a 2-3 conference record, Utah Valley is .5-game back of UMKC in the standings. Currently, the Roos are tied for fourth-place with California Baptist, while the Wolverines are tied for sixth with UTRGV.
  • Scouting the Opponent - Jake Toolson is the Utah Valley leader in scoring (16.2) and field goal percentage (minimum 100 attempts) (.595). He also is dangerous from long range shooting 36 of 75 (.480) from behind the arc. Conner Toolson chips in 13.2 points. Baylee Steele tops the Wolverines in rebounding with 6.6 boards per game.
  • The Roos are 4-1 in their last five homes against Utah Valley, including a 77-70 defeat of the Wolverines on Feb. 10, 2018. A win on Thursday would hand UMKC a three-game home winning streak in the overall series.
  • Aleer Leek, the lone senior on the team, recently played in his 100th career game. He accomplished the century milestone on Dec. 19, 2018 at Central Michigan. With 106 career contests, he needs three more to be on the Roo top 10 career list for most games played.
  • How about that start -- With a 2-0 league mark, the Roos had their best conference start since the 2013-14 season. In coach Richardson’s first year, UMKC defeated Idaho and Seattle in two road meetings to lift off the 13-14 league season. UMKC finished WAC play with a 7-9 mark.
  • Home Sweet Home -- It is a ground-breaking time as the Blue and White plays all of its conference home games at Swinney Center on the UMKC campus for the first time since the 2012-13 season. That year, UMKC played its final six home games at Swinney, as members of the Summit League. Historically, UMKC played home games at Municipal Auditorium in downtown Kansas City, Mo. The move was done to bring the action to the heart of campus and enhance the energy and buzz in the crowd.
  • Whitfield in Top 50 -- Junior guard Rob Whitfield has in name in the Top 50 of NCAA statistical rankings for the following:
    • No. 44: 3-point FG percentage, 42.1%
  • Chasing History -- A few Roos are on the UMKC career record lists. Below are those marks.
    • Xavier Bishop
      • No. 18 in Career Points (871); No. 17 on the list is 873 (Nick Richmond)
      • No. 9 in Career Assists (252); No. 8 on the list has 275 (Matt Suther)
      • 16-straight 10-point games - one game shy of No. 9 (tie) on career list
    • Aleer Leek
      • No. 8 in Career Blocked Shots (50); No. 8 on the list has 64 (Thaddeus Smith)
      • 106 career games played - three games shy of No. 10 (tie) for career games played
    • Rob Whitfield
      • No. 3 in Career 3-Point Field Goal %, Min 75 Attempts (51 for 121, 42.1%)
  • Coach Kareem Richardson, in his sixth year at UMKC, stands with 71 wins. That amount puts him No. 3 on the all-time Roo coaching win list (in NCAA era). He looks up on the list at coach Rich Zvosec, who coached six seasons from 2001-06, with 84 wins.
  • Early on this season, junior Xavier Bishop tops the Roos at 15.8 points per game, while junior Rob Whitfield is at 11.4. On the glass, sophomore Marvin Nesbitt Jr., leads the team in rebounding with 4.6, while Bishop’s 4.1 assists also tops the team.
  • With 11 points in his most recent game vs. Grand Canyon, Bishop has reached double-figures in 16-straight games. Overall, he has topped 10-plus points in 17-of-19 games this year.
  • 1,000-point countdown - Bishop currently stands with 871 career points, which puts him No. 18 on the career UMKC list. He trails Nick Richmond (1995-99) with 873 points. There are 11 Roos in the 1,000-point club, with Lavell Boyd (2015-17) being the most recent 1,000-point scorer.
  • Road Warriors - UMKC won back-to-back road games on Dec. 1 at Purdue Fort Wayne and Dec. 8 at South Dakota 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.
  • Preseason Poll - 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.
  • The Roos are playing in their 33rd year of NCAA basketball and currently hold a 389-544 mark since the 1986-87 season.
  • Up Next - The Roos welcome in Seattle University on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 6 p.m.