Preview: 2019-2020 Kansas City women’s basketball players

#0 Kyla Callins
A junior transfer from Butler CC, Callins averaged 10 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals a game in 2018-2019. She was named MVP after she averaged 18 points per game in the Region VI Tournament. She was selected to First Team All-Jayhawk Conference, All-Tournament Team and was NJCAA Honorable Mention as a sophomore. 

#1 Emily Ivory
Emily Ivory is a lethal three-point sniper. Last season, Ivory drilled 84 threes on 37.5% shooting from deep, a KC single-season record for a freshman. She also broke the single game three-point record for any Roo player when she drilled eight threes against Chicago State. Ivory scored in double figures 13 times and averaged 10 points a game last season.

#3 Naomie Alnatas
Naomie Alnatas is the definition of efficient shooting. Before redshirting a year ago, Alnatas posted a 50-40-90 line for Iowa Western Community College in 2017-2018 while averaging 12 points, three assists and two rebounds. She was named a Second Team Academic All-American and earned NJCAA All-American Honorable Mention and ICCAC First Team All-Region. She’ll look to contribute in what would be her first game action in two years.

#12 Cristina Soriano
The 6-foot-5-inch Spaniard played in 31 games in her first season at UMKC, making one start and scoring in double figures twice last season. Soriano also racked up a double-double last year. Before last season, Soriano played in 53 games for the Monroe College Mustangs, leading the team to national tournament appearances and racking 13 double-doubles in her two years there. 

#13 Lauren West
A freshman from Omaha, Nebraska, West averaged 11 points, six rebounds, three blocks and two steals a game on 42% three-point shooting as a senior in high school. She was named to All-State Honorable Mention, Second Team All-Metro and Academic All-State. She led Millard North to a Nebraska State tournament appearance. West will look to add three-point shooting and efficient shooting to a team that already has a few long-range markswomen. 

#14 Ericka Mattingly
Ericka Mattingly had one of the best single seasons in Roo history after transferring from Butler Community College and UT-Arlington. In 2018-2019, Mattingly averaged 20 points, six assists, and three steals a game, which all led the WAC. She also started all 31 games for the Roos. She hit 82% of her free throws, accumulated nine double-doubles, two triple-doubles and scored in double figures 29 times last year. Mattingly was named to All-WAC First Team, Defensive Team, Newcomer Team and All-Tournament Team. She also won two WAC Player of the Week honors and was WAC Preseason Player of the Year this year. 

#15 Taylor Larson
One of two lone returning starters, Larson started in 29 games for the Roos last season while averaging four points and two rebounds a game. She put in a career-high 13 points, snatched down a career-high six rebounds and drilled a career-high four threes against Kansas State. This all happened after only appearing in four games for the Roos in her freshman year, where she put in a career-high 11 points over Central Christian in 2017-2018. Larson’s numbers should rise in 2019-2020.

#20 Awal Ajak
Ajak came to Kansas City last year after transferring from Kirkwood CC, where she led them to a 71-4 record from 2016-2018. Ajak translated well in her first year as a Roo last season, averaging six points and three rebounds while playing in 30 games and starting 14 games. Ajak made at two three-pointers in 11 games last season and scored in double-figures nine times. She was fourth in the WAC in three-point percentage at 39%. 

#21 Mandy Willems
Willems transferred to Kansas City from North Iowa Area CC, where she averaged 24 points, six points and three assists a game while shooting 39% from three and shooting 91% from the free-throw line. She made a total of 186 threes during 2018-2019. Willems should enhance the Roos up-and-down, up-tempo style of play with her shooting prowess.

#23 Tajah Foster-Walker
The 6’2” Tajah Foster-Walker hails from St. Louis, Missouri, where she played AAU ball for the St. Louis Eagles. As a senior in high school, Foster-Walker averaged 11 points, eight rebounds and four blocks as she led Whitfield Academy to a 23-7 record and a Final Four appearance in the state tournament. She earned All-District and Second Team MWAA All-Conference selections. Foster-Walker should help the Roos interior presence on both ends of the floor, especially on the defensive end and the boards. 

#24 Jonaie Johnson
Last season, Jonaie Johnson averaged three points and two rebounds a game for the Roos as a freshman. She played in 16 games, started one game and dropped a career-high 15 points against Seattle U. The sophomore guard out of Chicago will look to improve this season and make a steady contribution to the Roos on both ends. 

#32 Jada Mickens
Mickens was a steady contributor and a big reason why Hutchinson CC reached the NJCAA tournament in both of her years at the school. She averaged 13 points, eight rebounds, a steal, an assist and a block per game her freshman year on 50% shooting from the floor and 73% free throw shooting. In her sophomore season, Mickens averaged 11 points, six rebounds and a block per game while shooting 79% from the free-throw line. She will look to make the same contribution to the Roos. 

ed9vx@mail.umkc.edu

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