KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC men’s basketball team (1-7) continues its three-game road trip against former conference rivals when they head to Fort Wayne, Ind., to take on Purdue Fort Wayne (5-4) at 1 p.m. CT on Dec. 1 in War Memorial Coliseum as part of The Summit League/WAC Challenge.
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 McKissic is at 11.2 and Whitfield is at 11.0. On the glass, Allen (4.9) and Dixon (5.4) lead the squad, while Bishops 3.6 assists also top the team.
The 'Dons will play the UMKC Kangaroos on Saturday and then play the Akron Zips, who have a kangaroo as a mascot, on Wednesday. Matt Holba went 5-of-6 from long range vs. Eastern Illinois. He has made 9-of-13 over the last two games, attempted five or more 3-pointers in every game this season and has seven games of double-digit points this season after recording only once such game at Lehigh. Kason Harrell and John Konchar have hit double-digits in every game this year. The 'Dons have recorded double-digit steals in four games this year.
Last Time Out
The UMKC (1-7) men’s basketball team lost to former Summit League conference rival South Dakota State tonight at Frost Arena by a 75-47 score. The Jackrabbits (6-2) improved their home active win streak to a NCAA Division I-best 24-straight in Brookings, S.D. Mike Daum led all scorers with 26 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for South Dakota State. For the fifth-straight game, Roos’ Xavier Bishop was the offensive spark plug with 11 points in 33 minutes of action. The junior guard also compiled a team-best four assists and added four rebounds. Brandon McKissic and Rob Whitfield each chipped in 10 points.
The Dons lead the all-time series with the Roos 7-6, after a 65-60 win in their last meeting on Feb. 14, 2013 in Kansas City. UMKC’s last win, meanwhile, was on Jan. 19, 2013 in Fort Wayne, 63-59.
Kaleb Roy has seen action on the court for the first time this season after redshirting a year ago. To date, the Shaker Heights, Ohio, native has appeared in all eight games, notching career-high’s with five points, five rebounds, an assist and a steal.
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 South Dakota at 1 p.m. CT on Dec. 8 in Vermillion, S.D.
– UMKC –