Men’s Basketball Midseason Review

The Roos huddled up after a big win at home.

Zach Gunter, Staff Writer

After five months of college basketball, the new-look Kansas City Roos had an up-and-down performance in and out of conference play. However, there are many areas that need to be worked on to become true contenders.


Brutal Non-Conference Play


In the 13 games prior to conference play, the Roos went 4-9. 


In an early statement win, the Roos stomped the Toledo Rockets 83-71. Toledo led the game 38-33 at halftime, but Kansas City secured the win with 50 points in the second half. The Rockets have gone 11-4 since this game and are currently ranked 3rd in the Mid-American Conference.


The worst Roos loss came in the first game of the season. Kansas City lost 59-56 to the Division II Lincoln (MO) Blue Tigers in an ugly home opener. To the Blue Tigers’ credit, they were the more prepared team.


A Shocking Start


The first eight games of Summit League play were surprising. 


Kansas City absolutely dominated the South Dakota Coyotes 62-45 in the first sign of life for the team this season. Graduate guard RayQuawndis Mitchell put up 28 points in this game.


The Roos were meant to play the South Dakota State Jackrabbits on December 21, but that game had to be postponed until January 30 due to winter weather.


The Denver game was a heartbreaker. The Roos were down by as much as 15 to the Pioneers with only 6:18 left in the second half, but Kansas City wasn’t out of it yet. They went on a 28-12 run to tie the game at 66. The game went to three overtimes and ended 85-83 on a Denver steal. The Roos missed three shots from beneath the basket. The highlight? Senior Guard, Shemarri Allen, scored 34 points. 


The next game at the Omaha Mavericks was close up until about 8:20 left in the game. Then, the Roos went on a 23-8 run to bring them to the final score of 75-59. Both Guard Shemarri Allen (17) and Guard RayQuawndis Mitchell (27) scored over 15 points in this game.


And, the final game on the road game slate was at Oral Roberts. The Roos had a 12-point lead with 5 minutes left in the first half. The largest lead the Golden Eagles had was 6 points midway through the second half. The game was tied 71-71 with less than a second left when Guard Max Abmas hit a half-court buzzer-beater to win the game. This play is devastating:


Against the St. Thomas Tommies, Mitchell had 29 points. But, that wasn’t the highlight of the game. The highlight was Freshman Forward Jeff Ngandu who had his best game of the season with 14 points and 17(!) rebounds. The game was very close until about 12 minutes left in the game when the Roos began to pull away. Kansas City won 81-60.


The game against the Western Illinois Leathernecks was rough. Kansas City took an early 6-2 lead, but from then on the Roos could keep it close, but never take the lead back. 


Head Coach Marvin Menzies was asked after the loss at Western Illinois if he thought North Dakota’s six-game losing streak would affect game planning. “No, not at all. I hate playing teams that are pretty decent that haven’t won one in a little bit,” said Menzies. “We’ve had that experience a couple [of] times this year already.”


Unfortunately, it appears North Dakota was ready to pounce, as the Roos lost the game 77-70. 


Against North Dakota State, it was a nail-biter from start to finish. The largest lead in the game was 9 points by the Roos. And that came in the first half. Shemarri Allen had a 28-point game and RayQuawndis Mitchell had a 23-point game. The team played very well offensively but struggled to keep the Bison from scoring.


As of Jan. 31, the Roos stand at 8-13, 4-4 in conference play. It’s possible the Roos finish 18-13 on the season if they win out. After that comes the Summit League tournament.


The Roos are a fun team to watch. And under Coach Menzies, their future is bright.

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