UMKC men’s basketball Head Coach Kareem Richardson believes his team needs to work hard to be able to improve last season’s dismal record of 10 wins and 20 losses.
Last year, the Kangaroos’ opponents shot 46percent against them. This season Richardson wants to focus on decreasing that percentage as much as possible.
“We really want to improve our defense,” Richardson said. “We allowed teams to shoot a high percentage, so our defense has to be a big emphasis for us. We also have to cut down on turnovers and get good shots every possession.”
This year’s roster features eight new faces from across the U.S., which has set the bar high for returning players.
“We need Martez [Harrison] and Reese [Holliday] to help lead these newcomers,” Richardson said. “It puts a lot of pressure on those guys, but that’s a part of building a culture. For this team to improve from last season, leadership is very important when there is a team full of new guys.”
Earlier this year, freshmen Deshon Taylor, Collin Jennings, Noah Knight and Darius Austin, along with juniors Kevin Franceschi and Thaddeus Smith were added to the 2014 roster.
Last week, Richardson added sophomore guard and Kansas City, Mo., native Broderick Newbill to the squad, who transferred from Fresno State. Newbill played in the 2012 Missouri-Kansas All-Star game.
With seven players on the team from i around the Kansas City area, Richardson believes it is important to bring local student athletes to UMKC.
“There’s a lot of talent in Kansas City,” Richardson said. “We want to try to keep the right kids home and make UMKC appealing to them.”
The 2nd annual ’Roos Basketball Tip-Off Dinner Tuesday, Sept. 30 at the College Basketball Experience at Sprint Center will feature University of Kansas Head Basketball Coach Bill Self as keynote speaker.
The ’Roos will begin the season Sat., Nov. 8 against Rockhurst at Municipal Arena for an exhibition game.