WHO: UMKC Kangaroos (0-1)
WHEN: Thursday, November 8
WHERE: Carver-Hawkeye Arena (Iowa City, IA)
KICKOFF: 7:00 PM Central
ONLINE: BTN Plus
RADIO: Hawkeye Sports Network (check local listings); TuneIn
ODDS: Iowa -23
Kanga-you believe it? Iowa's 2018-19 basketball season gets underway tonight, with a visit from UMKC. THE MIGHTY ROOS! The Roos were actually not so mighty in their season opener; they lost 76-45 to last year's NCAA Tournament Loyola Chicago on Tuesday night. Iowa doesn't have Sister Jean on our side, but we do have Herky. And soft-serve ice cream. And tables. Mustn't forget the tables.
UMKC went 10-22 last year and are ranked 272nd in the nation by KenPom. Loyola Chicago jumped on them early and led 40-18 at halftime. UMKC made it more respectable in the second half (they only got outscored 36-27), but the end result was still a 30-point drubbing. The Roos shot 29.8% from the floor, but 30% from 3-point range (6/20), which means they actually shot worse from 2-point range (29.7%) than 3-point range. That's hard to do, usually.
Wing Brandon McKissic was about the only UMKC player who could shoot straight -- he shot 6/11 for the game and 3/3 from 3-point range and led the team with 15 points. Outside of 6-10 junior Danny Dixon and 6-9 senior Aleer Leek, UMKC doesn't have a lot of size, so it could be a profitable evening inside for Cook, Garza, Pemsl, & Co. UMKC lost two of their top four scorers from a year ago, but they do return their leading scorer in guard Xavier Bishop (11.6 ppg, 45.0% eFG, 33.9% 3FG) and another double figure scorer in Jordan Giles (10.2 ppg, 46.3% eFG, 26.2% 3FG).
Iowa should have everyone available for this game.
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