Matt Abdelmassih, who for two seasons assisted Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg as a staffer for the Minnesota Timberwolves of the NBA, is in his fifth year as a member of the Iowa State men’s basketball program.
Abdelmassih (pronounced Abdel-Massey) was the assistant director of operations for Iowa State in 2010-11 and was promoted to an assistant coach in April of 2011.
Abdelmassih’s first three seasons as an assistant coach are among the best campaigns in school history.
Iowa State posted one of the best seasons in school history in 2013-14, finishing 28-8 and advancing to just the fourth Sweet 16 in program history. The Cyclones' third-straight NCAA Tournament berth tied the school record.
Iowa State defeated a school-record nine teams ranked in the Associated Press top-25, including wins against top-10 foes Michigan and Iowa. The Cyclones' season included a school-record 14-game winning streak to open the season and championships at the Diamond Head Classic and Big 12 Tournament.
The 2013-14 Cyclones were led by Melvin Ejim and transfer DeAndre Kane, who was recruited by Abdelmassih. Kane was named an All-American by numerous publications in addition to being voted to the All-Big 12 First Team and Big 12 Newcomer of the Year. He was also named the Most Outstanding Player at the Big 12 Tournament and the Diamond Head Classic.
In 2012-13, the Cyclones made their second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance despite losing its top-three scorers. Led by four all-conference players, the Cyclones won 23 games, rattled off a 22-game homecourt winning streak and went 16-1 at home.
The Cyclones earned the distinction as one of the most exciting teams in the country in 2012-13, leading all “power-six” teams and ranking third nationally in scoring at 79.4 ppg. ISU also led the nation in 3-pointers per game (9.9, 346), breaking the Big 12 record and tying for the 14th-best total in NCAA history.
The 2011-12 season was one of the best in school history. The Cyclones recorded 23 wins overall, tying for the fourth-most in school history, and tallied a 12-6 mark in Big 12 play, the third-best conference win total in the Iowa State record book.
Iowa State made the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005 during Abdelmassih’s first season as an assistant, as the Cyclones appeared in the Associated Press’ top-25 poll for the first time since 2005 and defeated two top-10 teams (Kansas and Baylor).
Abdelmassih has been a key figure in Coach Hoiberg’s rebuilding process. His hard work on the recruiting trail, coupled with his contacts across the country, has opened up many doors for the Cyclones. Iowa State’s 2013 recruiting class was ranked in the top-40 nationally by ESPN.com and he is widely recognized as one of the top young recruiters in the country. Abdelmassih has been instrumental in making Iowa State a top destination for high-profile transfers like Kane, Royce White, Abdel Nader, Dustin Hogue and Jameel McKay.
Abdelmassih also helped the Cyclones sign Oregon State transfer Hallice Cooke and Greek national team player Georgios Tsalmpouris, a skilled 7-1 center. Cooke was an honorable mention selection to the Pac-12's All-Freshman Team after hitting 45.6 percent of his 3-point attempts.
In the summer of 2013, Abdelmassih helped the Cyclones beat out a host of schools in landing Kane, an immediately-elgible transfer from Marshall University. In 2013-14, Kane was one of just two players nationally to average at least 17 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Along with Kane, Abdelmassih’s recruiting efforts assisted the Cyclones in signing Hogue, a JUCO standout from Indian Hills Community College. He was also the lead recruiter for McKay, a JUCO All-American, and the highly-touted transfer Nader.
Hogue & McKay both played at Indian Hills Community College, in Ottumwa, Iowa. The duo led the Warriors to one of the schools best seasons in 2012-2013.
Hogue averaged 11.6 points and was second in the Big 12 averaging 8.4 rebounds per game in his first season in Ames. The Yonkers, N.Y., native started all 36 games for the Cyclones and was named to the All-East Region team after pouring in a career-high 34 points in the Sweet 16 against Connecticut at Madison Square Garden.
McKay was a two-time All-American while at Indian Hills, MVP of the JUCO All-Star game in 2012-2013 and ranked as the nation’s top JUCO player in the country. He comes to Ames as a transfer from Marquette, where he enrolled at the start of the 2013-2014 school year before deciding to transfer.
Abdel Nader joined the Cyclones as a transfer from Northern Illinois. Playing two seasons at NIU, Nader received MAC All-Freshmen honors in 2011-2012 and was named to the preseason All-MAC Team in 2012-2013.
At NIU, Nader averaged more than 13 points and five rebounds.
In 2011-2012 Abdelmassih’s recruiting efforts brought Royce White (Minneapolis, Minn.) to Iowa State. White would go on to produce one of the best seasons in school history in 2011-12. He was the only Division 1 player to lead his team in scoring, rebounding, assists, blocks and steals. White was a unanimous First-Team All-Big 12 pick, the Basketball Times’ National Newcomer of the Year and a honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press. White was the 16th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the fifth-highest selection in school history.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Abdelmassih forged a solid working relationship and friendship with Hoiberg when he joined the T-Wolves organization in 2008. He spent his first season as a basketball operations intern, working directly with the T-Wolves coaching staff.
He was promoted to basketball operations assistant in 2009-10, moving into front office duties. He assisted the T-Wolves brass in a variety of roles, including salary cap issues, draft preparation, scouting prospects and free agent analysis.
Abdelmassih was a student manager for the St. John’s men’s basketball team on Norm Roberts’ staff from 2004-07. He aided the director of operations with travel, video and camp responsibilities.
A 2007 graduate of St. John’s, Abdelmassih was born in Brooklyn on Feb. 19, 1985 and graduated from Cocalico High School in Denver, Pa.
Abdelmassih and his wife, Kelly, reside in Ames.