Cornell Mann enters his fourth season as a member of the Iowa State coaching staff after helping the Cyclones achieve unprecedented success during his tenure in Ames.
Iowa State has qualified for three-straight NCAA Tournaments, achieved a 74-31 overall record and posted 11-win conference seasons in each of Mann's seasons as an assistant.
The 2013-14 season was one of the best in school history, with Iowa State finishing 28-8, advancing to the Sweet 16 and winning the Big 12 Tournament and Diamond Head Classic. The Cyclones defeated a school-record nine teams in the Associated Press top-25 and had two players, Melvin Ejim and DeAndre Kane, earn All-America honors. Ejim was named the Big 12 Player of the Year, while Kane took home honors as Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and Big 12 Championship Most Outstanding Player. Georges Niang was an All-Big 12 Third-Team selection in his sophomore campaign.
Monté Morris, a Mann recruit, made an immediate impact in his first season on campus. Morris stepped into the starting lineup midway through the season and went on to lead the nation and break the NCAA record with a 4.79 assist-to-turnover ratio.
The Cyclones, led by the three all-conference players, built on their reputation as one of the most exciting teams in college basketball in 2013-14. ISU averaged 83.0 points per game, ranking fifth nationally and leading all “power” conference schools in scoring. ISU led the nation in assists per game (18.4) and were second in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.74).
In 2012-13, Iowa State advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year, reeled off a 22-game homecourt winning streak, tying for the second-best string in school history, and led the nation in 3-pointers per game at 9.9.
In Mann’s first season (2011-12), Iowa State qualified for its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2005, recorded 23 wins and tied for the third in the Big 12 Conference with a 12-6 mark. Iowa State’s 12 conference wins is the third-best total in school history. The Cyclones made the most of their NCAA Tournament appearance, defeating defending national champion Connecticut before losing to No. 1 seed and eventual national champion Kentucky.
With Mann on board, Iowa State appeared in the Associated Press’ Top-25 poll for the first time since 2005 and defeated two top-10 teams (Kansas and Baylor) in 2012. The Cyclones also had four players earn all-conference recognition, including Royce White, who was All-Big 12 First-Team, honorable mention All-American and the Basketball Times’ National Newcomer of the Year. White was the 16th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
In his three years at Iowa State, Mann has helped tutor 10 all-conference players and mentored the 2014 Big 12 Player of the Year (Ejim) as well as the last three Big 12 Newcomer of the Year recipients (2012-White; 2013-Will Clyburn; 2014-Kane).
Coach Hoiberg appointed Mann as the lead defensive coach at Iowa State which fits well with his high energy and substance over style approach. Mann believes in hard work and holding players accountable on the court and in the classroom.
In his short time in Ames, Mann has already brought with him the Michigan pipeline, having recruited four highly-regarded players from his home state. Percy Gibson (Detroit Southeastern) was considered the top post player in Michigan in the Class of 2011 and was named to the Detroit Free Press’ Six-Player Dream Team as a senior after averaging 21.2 points, 12.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocks.
Sherron Dorsey-Walker (Detroit Pershing) was rated No. 125 in the Rivals.com rankings and listed as the second-best player out of Michigan in the Class of 2012. Morris (Flint Beecher), who dished out 134 dimes as a freshman to go along with 6.8 points, is one of Mann’s prize recruits. Morris was named Michigan’s Mr. Basketball in 2013 and was a consensus top-100 national recruit in the class of 2013.
With three of ISU’s top four scorers in school history hailing from Michigan (Jeff Grayer, Barry Stevens and Victor Alexander), Coach Mann has been instrumental in tapping back into that fertile recruiting ground.
Mann has 13 years of experience as an assistant coach at the Division I level and has qualified for NCAA Tournament play at all four of his assistant coaching stops.
Prior to his arrival at Iowa State, Mann spent three years at Dayton where he helped lead the Flyers to three-straight postseason berths.
In Mann’s first season at Dayton (2008-09), the Flyers were ranked in the top-25, finished the season with the second-most victories in school history (27) and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Dayton defeated West Virginia in the first round.
The Flyers were 25-12 and won the 2010 NIT Championship in Mann’s second season and UD went 22-14 and advanced to the finals of the Atlantic-10 Tournament in 2010-11. UD made the 2011 NIT and had three players earn all-conference recognition.
Prior to his stint at UD, Mann coached at Western Michigan for five seasons, helping the Broncos win three Mid-American Conference West Division championships. The Broncos made the NCAA in 2004 and the NIT in 2005, and helped recruit and tutor five guards who earned All-Mac accolades, including the school’s all-time scoring leader David Kool. The last three players to score 1,000 points at WMU were recruited by Mann, as well as the school’s all-time assists leader.
Mann was an assistant at Central Michigan for two seasons before his tenure at WMU, as the Chippewas advanced to the second round of the 2003 NCAA Tournament before falling to Duke.
Prior to his arrival at CMU, Mann spent two seasons as the head coach at Oak Park High School in the Detroit area. He also was an assistant coach with the Michigan Mustangs, one of the top AAU programs in Michigan.
Along with the dozens of players who have earned college accolades and recognition, five of Mann’s former players have went on to play in the NBA: Chris Johnson, Chris Wright (Dayton), Chris Kaman (Central Michigan), Royce White and Chris Babb. Still, the number that Coach Mann takes most pride in is the number of players coached that have went on to earn their college degree.
Mann played one season at Colorado before transferring to Akron, where competed three seasons for the Zips, earning the program’s top defensive player and ranking among the league leader in steals. He earned his degree from Akron in 1995. He has two children: Maliq (12) and Cyncere (10).