Roos Men's Basketball Earns No. 7 Seed, Plays No. 2 Utah Valley Thursday at 8 pm CT
UMKC Athletics 3-11-2019
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LAS VEGAS -- The UMKC Men’s Basketball program (11-20) earned the No. 7 seed and faces No. 2 seed Utah Valley (23-8) Thursday, March 14 in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) tournament quarterfinals. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. CST / 6 p.m. PST from Las Vegas, Nev., and the Orleans Arena.


#WACvegas Notes

  • The early rounds will be broadcast live on ESPN+ with the championship game March 16 on ESPNU. Post-game press conferences will be live and carried on the WAC Digital Network. Look for stories, photos and videos on
  • The Roos are 3-5 all-time in the WAC postseason and appearing in their sixth WAC tournament. The Blue and Gold is trying to advance to its fourth semifinal in the last five seasons.
  • Refer to pages 5-7 in the PDF document for complete history of UMKC at the WAC tournament, since becoming a conference member for the 2013-14 season.
    UMKC is 1-0 all-time against Utah Valley in the tournament. In the 2016 postseason event, the Roos defeated the Wolverines, 80-78, in the quarterfinal round. That contest was a No. 5 (UMKC) vs. No. 4 (Utah Valley) match-up.
  • In the season series, the Wolverines defeated the Roos, 75-67, in Kansas City on Jan. 24 before claiming a 79-67 victory in Orem, Utah on Feb. 23.
  • In the all-time series history with Utah Valley, the Roos trail by a 12-8 margin. The Wolverines are 3-2 against UMKC in the last five meetings. No team has won more than three games in-a-row in the series.
  • UMKC is playing in all-time game No. 9 in the WAC tournament. The No. 7 seed is the first such position for the Roos in the WAC tournament.
  • In the eight previous WAC contests, the average margin of victory has been 7.4 points. Five of those games have been decided by six-or-fewer points.
  • Four Roos have postseason experience, with a combined 10 games played. Senior Aleer Leek has played in four previous WAC tournament games, followed by three from junior Xavier Bishop, two by junior Jordan Giles and one by sophomore Brandon McKissic. Look on page seven for more details.
  • From a points perspective, McKissic has the highest scoring postseason output with 17 points in his only game played in last year’s tournament. Giles has posted 13 points, Bishop 10 and Leek two.
  • If the Roos defeat Utah Valley Thursday, they will battle the winner of the No. 3 Grand Canyon / No. 6 Seattle U contest. That semifinal game will occur Friday at 10:30 p.m. CST / 8:30 p.m. PST. All-time in the tournament, the Roos are 0-1 against Grand Canyon and 0-1 against Seattle U.
  • Amongst the current eight WAC member schools, UMKC is tied for fourth in postseason wins with three. New Mexico State has claimed the most with 29 victories.
  • When the Roos have scored 80 points, they are 2-0 in WAC tournament games.
  • In five previous WAC tournaments, UMKC has landed one individual on the All-Tournament Team: Reese Holliday in 2015. In two tournament games, Holliday averaged 16.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists.
  • Since UMKC became a WAC member, New Mexico State has won four out of five postseason championships. CSU Bakersfield captured the 2016 tournament title.
  • A win against Utah Valley in the WAC Tournament means... UMKC advances to its fourth semifinal game in the last five tournaments... improve to 2-0 all-time in the tournament against Utah Valley... better their WAC postseason record to 4-5 all-time... go to 1-0 in the tournament as No. 7 seed... punch a ticket to the semifinal game played Friday at 10:30 p.m. CST / 8:30 p.m. PST from Orleans Arena.
  • Previous meeting with Utah Valley - The Roos fell in a Western Athletic Conference battle, 79-67, to Utah Valley (19-8, 8-5) at the UCCU Center. The Roos led early in the second half over the Wolverines after Xavier Bishop knocked down a jumper and later pushed the lead to two after a pair of Danny Dixon free throws with 13:12 remaining. UVU, though, followed with a 14-2 rally to go take a 10-point lead with just over nine minutes remaining. UMKC would close the gap to as little as six down the stretch when Brandon Suggs connected on a rebound putback, but could get no closer as Utah Valley came away with the victory. Bishop led the Roos in the defeat, as the junior finished with team-high’s of 19 points and six assists, while adding four rebounds and a steal. Utah Valley posted 22 second-chance points, thanks to 15 offensive rebounds.
  • Closing out the regular season -  The UMKC men’s basketball team ended the regular season on a high note with a 76-61 victory at Chicago State (3-27, 0-16 WAC) Saturday (March 9) from the Jones Convocation Center. The victory was the first of the year for the Roos on the road in league play (1-7 record). Jordan Giles tied a season-high with a team best 17 points in just 18 minutes off the bench. He shot 8 of 10 from the field and chipped in nine rebounds and two steals. Xavier Bishop finished with his 25th output of 10-plus points with 16 on the afternoon. Rob Whitfield added 13 points as he nailed a trio of 3-pointers.
  • 1,000-point milestone - With 15 points in the game against New Mexico State on Feb. 28th, junior guard Xavier Bishop became the 12th Roo to surpass 1,000 career points as he now has 1,030. He passed Spencer Johnson (2007-11) on the UMKC list. Bishop looks to move past Lavell Boyd (2015-17), who had 1,065 points, for 11th place on the list.
  • Bench points - The Roos have received significant contributions from their bench, especially during the last 10 games. Highlighted by the 35-0 advantage in the game Feb. 21st versus Seattle U, UMKC has recorded more points off the bench than the opposition in eight of the past 10 contests. During the last 10 games, UMKC is +148 in that category, with the only negative being out-scored by 16 points against New Mexico State on Feb. 28, 2019 and having the same output in points (16-16) against UTRGV on March 2, 2019.
  • Starting line-up rotation - Overall, the Roos have had 13 different starting line-ups in 31 games. With a 5-3 record, the most successful quintet has been Leek and Giles in the front court, with Whitfield, Bishop and McKissic in the back court. See left bar on page two for more details.
  • Treasure the basketball - UMKC has posted the same or fewer turnovers than the opposition in 24-of-31 games this year. At one stretch, the Roos went 14-straight games claiming that stat. In the seven contests with turning the ball over more times, the Roos are 1-6.
  • Double-digit wins - The Roos (11-20, 6-10 WAC) surpassed last year’s total win amount and conference wins with the 11th victory against Chicago State on March 9. Looking back at previous seasons with more wins, the 2016-17 program went 18-17 overall and 8-6 in WAC play.
  • Career games played - 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 118 career contests, he is No. 2 (tied) on the Roo career list for most games played and is chasing the top spot of 121. Refer to the left bar on page 3 for more details.
  • 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 2013-14 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 NCAA Top 50 -- Junior guard Rob Whitfield has his name in the Top 50 of NCAA statistical rankings for the following (Through March 4):
            • No. 30: 3-point FG percentage, 42.6 % (78 for 183)
  • Roos in NCAA Top 100 -- As a team, the Roos are ranked in the Top 100 of NCAA statistical rankings for the following (Through March 4):
            • No. 72: Steals per game (7.3)
            • No. 54 (tie): Total steals (220)
  • Chasing History - A few Roos are on the UMKC career record lists. Refer to page three for those marks.
  • Coach Kareem Richardson - Kareem is in his sixth year at UMKC and stands with 75 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.
  • Scoring streak - Bishop had his streak of scoring in double figures snapped at 18-straight against New Mexico State on Jan. 31. He finished with seven points on 3 of 10 shooting. That streak tied for eighth-longest in UMKC history. Overall, he has topped 10-plus points in 25 of his 30 games played this year. He sat out one game with an injured foot.
  • Preseason Poll - After a 10-22 season, 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.
  • All-time mark - The Roos are playing in their 33rd year of NCAA basketball and currently hold a 393-552 mark since the 1986-87 season.