KANSAS CITY, Mo. – UMKC (5-10) begins its sixth year of Western Athletic Conference (WAC) play as the Roos host Chicago State (3-12) Saturday at Swinney Center at 2 p.m. CT. It is a ground-breaking time as the Blue and White play at Swinney 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.
- The Roos open up WAC action for the fourth-straight year at home. However, this year has a new wrinkle as Swinney Center, on the UMKC campus, serves as the home venue for the first-time in conference history. Historically, UMKC has played home games at Municipal Auditorium in downtown Kansas City, Mo.
All-time in WAC openers, UMKC is 2-3 with the last win on Jan. 7, 2016 against Seattle University at Municipal Auditorium. The Roos are trying to snap a two-game WAC opener losing skid.
- All-time in WAC home lid-lifters, the Roos are 2-3 as well. Two of those affairs were against Chicago State -- a win on Jan. 17, 2015 in the second league game and a loss on Jan. 11, 2014 in the third WAC contest.
- UMKC has won four out of its last seven contests overall after starting the season 0-5.
- Chicago State, who is 0-11 this year on the road, has dropped four-straight games overall this year.
- In the all-time series, UMKC holds a commanding 32-12 edge, including seven wins in the last eight meetings. Also, the Roos have won four-straight contests in Kansas City against the Cougars.
- Coach Kareem Richardson, in his sixth year at UMKC, stands with 69 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 16.3 points per game, while junior Rob Whitfield is at 13.1. On the glass, redshirt-junior Danny Dixon (4.7) leads the squad, while Bishop’s 4.5 assists also tops the team.
- With 10 points in the most recent game at Creighton, Bishop has reached double-figures in 12-straight games. Overall, he has topped 10-or-more points in 13-of-15 games this year.
- 1,000-point countdown - Bishop currently stands with 814 career points, which puts him No. 17 on the career UMKC list. There are 10 Roos in the 1,000-point club.
- Scouting the Opponent - Chicago State is seeking to snap a four-game losing skid and looking for its first road victory of the year. Anthony Harris leads the club in scoring (14.7) and is second in rebounding (5.8). Rob Shaw (11.2) and Christian Jacob (10.3) are the other players in double-figure scoring. Jacob is the team leader with 6.1 boards per contest.
- Last Time Out - On Dec. 27, the Roos fell 89-53 at Creighton University in their final non-conference test of the season. Brandon McKissic lead three UMKC players in double-figures with 11 points. UMKC allowed Creighton to shoot 61.8 percent from the floor and got out-rebounded by a 39-16 margin.
- 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.
- 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.
- Up Next - The Roos stay at home hosting Cal Baptist on Thursday, Jan. 10 with tip at 6 p.m. CT at Swinney. Heading into the weekend, the Lancers hold a 9-5 overall record.
- The Roos are playing in their 33rd year of NCAA basketball and currently hold a 387-542 mark since the 1986-87 season.