Column: Past is the Past, Future is the Roos

Zayin Barnes, Managing Editor

Regardless of the sport, roster and schedule difficulty, losses are inevitable. As one team breaks out cigars and bathes in confetti, another sheds tears accompanied by immense pain. The Kansas City Roos’ men’s basketball team was no exception to these negative emotions during the 2022-23 season. 

  The Roos ended the season with an 11-21 record, 7-11 in conference play. Their year concluded in the first round of the Summit League Conference Tournament, where they lost to the Omaha Mavericks. This season and finale were, however, far from shortcomings. 

  Kansas City’s defense consistently remained atop their opponents. They ended as the conference’s best in opposing points per game, allowing only 68.7 a contest. They also ranked second in opponent field goal percentage (42.4%), second in blocks per game (3.66), second in steals per game (6.0) and third in opponent rebounds per game (33.3). These statistics alone represent new beginnings for next year. There is no reason to sulk in the suffering of the past unless you focus on the other side of the ball.

  Defensively, they looked flawless in the majority of games. But offensively, they gave off the impression that they were confused or stuck at times, leaning on graduate guard RayQuawndis Mitchell and senior guard Shemarri Allen to carry the load. These two are undoubtedly gifted scorers, but a team needs to function as a unit. Kansas City didn’t. The team moved the ball well, but for too long. They wasted too much clock time attempting to force a pass inside for the frontcourt to play bully ball. 

  When their bully ball worked, it was unstoppable. When it didn’t, they were forced to feed the wing for a last-second effort. After a shot clock’s worth of aimless tactics, the organization is doomed, and it is the title of the game. With the return of senior guard Anderson Kopp pairing with the current young team, Head Coach Marvin Menzies will indeed have no issue finding tranquility in the flow of the offense. 

  In his second year, Menzies’ game plan options are endless. With a team of freshmen, there was still plenty of room to develop last season. It’s observing guys like Kopp and Allen that will impact their growth. With a full year behind them, these young players can start to break out and implement themselves into the rotation, finding the role that will benefit the squad. 

  The team to come looks pretty stacked on paper. There’s inside presence, three-level scoring, leaders, veterans and defense. All they need now is chemistry, communication and balance. Not to say chemistry was an issue in the past, but it should still be a focal point after a year of struggle. Those are all mental solutions, though. Physically, even with the appearance of a powerhouse, there can be an improvement.