ESPN listed their top 40 college basketball coaches all under the age of 40, and the B1G was well represented overall with three coaches on the list. However, what we all actually care about is that the Nebraska Cornhuskers very own assistant coach Matt Abdelmassih came in at No. 22 overall in their rankings.
As Fred Hoiberg turned Iowa State into an elite program that attracted some of the best players in the country, Abdelmassih was the pivotal orchestrator behind the scenes. That’s why he’s back with Hoiberg at Nebraska (after a stint at St. John’s), where he has the facilities and potential to rapidly upgrade the talent pipeline to Lincoln. — Myron Medcalf
Coach Abdelmassih is a graduate of St. John’s and worked as a student manager for the Red Storm basketball team during his time in undergrad there. After graduating he assisted the director of basketball operations until moving to the Minnesota Timeberwolves staff in 2008 as an operations intern. He was promoted to operations assistant in 2009, and worked with Coach Hoiberg there.
As a result of their working relationship, Coach Hoiberg made sure to bring Abdelmassih with him to Iowa State where he stayed for five years, his last four of which were as an assistant. His recruiting was instrumental there towards the Iowa State Cyclones’ success as he helped bring in top transfer recruits DeAndre Kane and Royce White. Kane helped lead the 2013-14 squad to the program’s fourth ever Sweet-16 while finishing the season overall at 28-8 including a school record nine wins over ranked teams. Meanwhile, White was the only Division I player to lead his team in scoring, rebounding, assists, blocks, and steals during the 2011-12 season. He went on earn All-American honors that season, was a unanimous First Team All-Big 12 pick, and was selected as the 16th overall pick in the NBA draft that year.
While at St. John’s, Abdelmassih was named the top transfer recruiter in the country by ESPN. He helped lead the Red Storm to their 21 win season in his last season with them (2018-19), and their first NCAA tournament bid in five seasons. All five starters for the Red Storm during that second season were recruited by Abdelmassih, including such talent as Mustapha Heron (Auburn), Justin Simon (Arizona), Marvin Clark Jr. (Michigan State), as well as junior college transfer LJ Figueroa. He also helped them land a consensus top-25 recruiting class in 2016.