The University of Missouri-Kansas City is set to return to the Summit League in 2020 after seven seasons in the WAC. It has been a fairly stagnant WAC stint for the Roos, who never advanced past the conference tournament semifinals. Their best campaign ended in a second-place regular season finish in 2015.
The team originally left the Summit to join the WAC in hopes of finding exposure in the Phoenix and Chicago markets, however UMKC now feels the best economic and athletic opportunity now lies within the Summit.
This will be UMKC's last year in the WAC. Roos are rejoining the Summit, July 1, 2020.— Blair Kerkhoff (@BlairKerkhoff) June 21, 2019
Geographically speaking, this is a great move for UMKC, which will have more regional rivalries in the Summit League, compared to the WAC, where they played all over the map. The WAC includes teams from Washington, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah.
Despite being the lone Summit League team in Missouri, they are the sixth team in the conference to be located along the I-29 freeway, and the rest of the conference members have campuses located in Middle America.
The Roos were 2-1 against Summit League opponents last season with back-to-back wins on the road that, including a 90-73 victory against former conference rival Purdue Fort Wayne, and a comeback 65-63 win in South Dakota.
The change will not take place until July 1 2020, so Billy Donlon will spend his first year with UMKC in the WAC. The Roos currently have 11 players in the transfer portal, but not all hope is lost. Key player Brandon McKissic is still considering staying with UMKC and would be a senior when it’s time for the Roos to return the Summit League. Additionally, Donlon has four signees (one by the name of Zion Williams) coming in for the 2019-20 season.