The Missouri-Kansas City basketball team has a couple things going for it: it’s nickname is the Kangaroos, and it has some solid Warriors-esque uniforms. Unfortunately, neither has anything to do with the actual playing of basketball. UMKC is 3-7 so far this season, with one of those wins coming against a non-DI school.
The Kangaroos are very much in rebuilding mode this season after losing six seniors—including all five starters—off of last year’s squad. The team welcomed nine new players to the team this season and in the process went from one of the nation’s most experienced to one of the nation’s youngest. This is not the most ideal route to establishing program continuity, and UMKC is certainly feeling the pain of its inexperience.
The UMKC Offense
|2018||97.2 (291)||46.0 (305)||19.4 (178)||20.4 (340)||34.7 (163)||48.5 (14)||37.5 (34.9)||36.6 (121)|
|2017||103.0 (198)||50.6 (172)||19.7 (257)||27.2 (244)||38.4 (84)||40.7 (72)||47.3 (258)||36.9 (86)|
The Kangaroos are not only young, they are undersized, and a lot of times when you put those things together, you get the short-guy struggle on a broad scale. To say that UMKC is stricken with the short-guy struggle would be to understate how insanely terrible this team has been at converting two-point shots. Normally I’d be impressed here, but NC State just played a team that was even worse at shooting twos. What a time!
The good news from UMKC’s perspective is that it is attempting a whole bunch of threes—so at least it’s not relying heavily on twos to pace the offense. That helps a little bit. Not much, but some. Nearly half of UMKC’s field goal attempts this season have come from beyond the arc.
Eight UMKC players have attempted at least 10 threes already this season, so pretty much every player who gets meaningful minutes will show some willingness to shoot it from deep. NC State should be well aware of that. Especially since, y’know, these guys are almost better at making threes than they are at making twos. It’s backward basketball! (Or basketball down under?)
The UMKC Defense
|2018||105.1 (209)||53.5 (255)||20.2 (133)||31.2 (238)||42.2 (294)||33.9 (74)||53.9 (264)||35.1 (179)|
|2017||107.4 (225)||52.6 (263)||20.0 (78)||32.2 (291)||41.7 (303)||36.5 (184)||53.4 (315)||34.1 (116)|
Bricking a ton of twos at the offensive end while giving up a bunch of easy ones defensively is not a common path to success in basketball, even if the team in question is good at other things, which UMKC is not. The Kangaroos do nothing remarkably well at the defensive end to make up for all the brickage at the other end, which seems unlikely to change on Saturday afternoon ... or at any point this season.
The Pomeroy Predictor likes NC State by 15.