Season Preview: Coaching staff roles

By Chris Williams, PublisherFollow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMWilliams

We’re counting down to hoops season here at Keep checking out the site for more basketball previews from now until the exhibition season tips off on Nov. 6 against Grand Valley State.

This isn’t a complicated issue in football.

You have an offensive coordinator. There’s a defensive coordinator. Wide receivers have their own coach, as do the running backs, linebackers, etc.

What’s the deal in basketball though?

Heading into year two of the Fred Hoiberg era in Ames, his coaching staff looks a lot different than it did 365 days ago.

Bobby Lutz and Elwyn McRoy are out.

Cornell Mann and Matt Abdelmassih are in. During the Big 12’s basketball media day in Kansas City a few weeks ago, I sat down and briefly spoke with Hoiberg about his new staff, the roles that each man has and how business gets taken care of within the Iowa State basketball program.

On associate head coach T.J. Otzelberger…

"Coach T.J." is entering his sixth year as an assistant coach at Iowa State and his second straight as the program’s associate head coach. However, Otzelberger’s role will be significantly different than that of the five previous seasons.

“T.J. will be very involved with our scouting reports this year," said Hoiberg. "As far as putting the scout team through things, it’s a very similar role to what Bobby Lutz had last year as far as watching film together, scouting, etc.”

Otzelberger has built himself a national reputation as one of the game’s top recruiters. He’ll still recruit for Iowa State, but Otz’s role will definitely expand in 2011-12 and beyond.

On Matt Abdelmassih…

Stepping into Otzelberger’s role as "shark recruiter" this season will be Matt Abdelmassih, a 26-year old New York native who filled the role of assistant director of operations last season.

“Matt is on the road a lot," said Hoiberg. "He’s on the road watching kids and bringing back feedback to me on who we really need to go hard after. Everybody is recruiting. All four of us are very active in that role. It is as important of a job as they have, bringing the right kids into the program.”

During his short period of time with the Iowa State program, Abdelmassih has already brought in the likes of Royce White and Tavon Sledge. He’ll also be credited with the recruitment of Nkereuwem Okoro, who is expected to sign with the Cyclones in November.

On Cornell Mann…

Former Dayton assistant coach Cornell Mann is another newbie to the staff and Hoiberg refers to him as the team’s "defensive coordinator."

“He brought some ideas from the way that they did things at Dayton," said Hoiberg. "Brian Gregory brought those ideas from Michigan State. It is kind of his role to bring ideas to me as far as with our group, what he thinks we are able to do defensively.”