MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber announced the signing of transfer Ismael Massoud (East Harlem, N.Y./MacDuffie School/Wake Forest) to a Financial Aid Agreement on Thursday (April 15).
Massoud is the fifth addition to the 2021-22 team, joining fellow transfers Markquis Nowell (Harlem, N.Y./St. Patrick/Little Rock) and Mark Smith (Edwardsville, Ill./Edwardsville/Missouri), who signed with the Wildcats earlier this month. The trio will be joined by a pair of incoming freshmen in Logan Landers (Cedarburg, Wis./Cedarburg) and Maximus Edwards (Stratford, Conn./Our Saviour Lutheran School [N.Y.]).
A 6-foot-8, 200-pound combo guard, Massoud arrives at K-State from Wake Forest, where he played in 53 games with 8 starts from 2019-21 for head coaches Danny Manning and Steve Forbes. He will have three years of eligibility remaining after the NCAA granted fall and winter sport student-athletes an additional year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Massoud is a former Top 150 recruit out The MacDuffie School in Granby, Mass.
“We’re really happy to sign a player like Ismael, and we welcome him and his family to K-State,” said Weber. “We weren’t sure if we were going to fill the last (scholarship) spot. However, when we started recruiting Ismael, we felt he was too good to turn down. When we took a long look at our team needs and what we lost, we thought that he filled in perfectly in our needs in the front court.”
An East Harlem, New York native who was born in Madrid, Spain, Massoud averaged better 16 minutes per game in playing in all 53 games for the Demon Deacons the past two seasons (2019-21), including in all 22 games with 8 starts in 2020-21. He totaled 331 points in those 53 games, including 11 double-digit scoring games, with 138 rebounds, 20 assists, 18 steals and 13 blocks. In all, he averaged 6.2 points in two seasons at Wake Forest on 36 percent (105-of-292) shooting, including 36.3 percent (69-of-190) from 3-point range, while connecting on 74.3 percent (52-of-70) from the free throw line.
Massoud made improvements across the board in his second season at Wake Forest in 2020-21, nearly doubling his scoring (4.8 ppg. to 8.3 ppg.) and rebounding (2.0 rpg. to 3.4 rpg.) averages as a sophomore while connecting on 34.1 percent (58-of-170) from the field, including 33.6 percent (36-of-107) from 3-point range, and hitting on 73.2 percent (30-of-41) from the free throw line. He ranked fifth on the team in scoring, while he was second in 3-point field goals made (36), third in field goals made (58) and fourth in rebounding (3.4 rpg.). He had at least 2 3-pointers in 10 games, including a Wake Forest school record 8 against Pittsburgh on January 23.
“Ismael gives us that true stretch forward, who has tremendous experience playing in the ACC,” said Weber. “He has some scoring ability, including a 31-point effort against Pitt earlier this year. He’s a very mature young man who works hard. He’s a great addition to our team. We’re really excited about his potential.”
Massoud also averaged 8.3 points in playing in all 18 ACC games in 2020-21, connecting on 34.3 percent (48-of-140) from the field, including 33.7 percent (29-of-86) from 3-point range, and 70.6 percent (24-of-34) from the free throw line, while averaging 3.5 rebounds in 22.2 minutes per game.
Massoud scored in double figures in seven contests this past season, including a career-best 31-point effort in single-handedly helping the Deacons won 76-75 at Pittsburgh on January 23. He connected on 10-of-14 attempts from the field, including an impressive 8-of-10 from 3-point range. He is one of seven Demon Deacons to have hit on eight triples in a game, while he tied the school record for 3-point makes in a regulation game. His 8-of-10 shooting performance is best percentage from 3-point range in school history.
In addition to his 31-point effort at Pitt, Massoud also performed well on the road at No. 21 Duke on January 9, posting 17 points and 8 rebounds to go with 13-point efforts at No. 22 Virginia on January 6 and at N.C. State (along with 7 rebounds) on January 27.
Massoud played in all 31 games as a true freshman in 2019-20 for the Demon Deacons, averaging 4.8 points on 38.5 percent (47-of-12) from the field, including 39.8 percent (33-of-83) from 3-point range, with 2.0 rebounds in 12.1 minutes per game. He ranked third on the team in 3-point field goals made, including 2 or more makes in 10 games. He scored a season-high 14 points twice against Pitt on January 4 and Boston College on January 19.
Massoud came to Wake Forest from The MacDuffie School in Granby, Mass., where he developed into one of the Top 10 recruits in New England, playing for head coach Jacque Rivera from 2016-19. In his first season at MacDuffie, he averaged 15.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.4 steals and 1.8 assists per game. As a junior, he averaged 18.3 points, 6 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals for the Mustangs, who play in the NEPSAC (New England Prep School Athletic Conference), which is one of the top prep school leagues in the country. As a senior, he was named to the USA Today All-Massachusetts First Team as well as First Team All-NEPSAC.
Massoud played on the EYBL circuit for the PSA Cardinals and coach Terrence “Munch” Williams, where he averaged 7.7 points and 3.8 rebounds in helping the team advance to the 2018 Peach Jam. He played alongside current Orlando Magic Cole Anthony, Connecticut’s James Bouknight and Wichita State’s Tyson Etienne.
Massoud was a highly-regarded high school recruit out of MacDuffie, where he was a Top 150 recruit by both Rivals (No. 129) and 247Sports (No. 148). He was a Top-40 prospect by both recruiting services at his position, while was the No. 2 recruit in the state of New York by 247Sports. He held more than dozen high-major offers before picking Wake Forest over Auburn, Georgia Tech, Harvard and Rutgers.
Massoud comes from an athletic family, as his mother Alicia Rodriguez-Barrera played basketball at Houston, who was starter for the Cougars as a junior and senior in 1996-97 and 1997-98, as well as overseas in Europe, while his brother, Sofian, just completed his freshman season as a quarterback at Houston in 2020.
Massoud is the 31st Division I player to transfer to K-State, joining current sophomore Kaosi Ezeagu (UTEP) and graduate transfer Mark Smith (Missouri) and junior Markquist Nowell (Little Rock).
K-State’s 2021-22 roster is currently taking shape. In addition to the recent signees, the Wildcats will return All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection Mike McGuirl, who is utilizing his extra season of eligibility, as well as the freshman core of Nijel Pack, Selton Miguel and Davion Bradford, who combined to start 71 games in 2020-21. The 71 combined starts by the freshman trio were the second-most by any team in Division I this past season. The trio combined to average 25.4 points, 10.4 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 2.0 steals this season.
Head Coach Bruce Weber:
On the signing of Ismael Massoud…
“We weren’t sure if we were going to fill the last (scholarship) spot. However, when we started recruiting Ismael, we felt he was too good to turn down. When we took a long look at our team needs and what we lost, we thought that he filled in perfectly in our needs in the front court. He gives us that true stretch forward, who has tremendous experience playing in the ACC. He has some scoring ability, including a 31-point effort against Pitt earlier this year. He’s a very mature young man who works hard. He’s a great addition to our team.”
On the recruiting class as a whole (three transfers and two incoming freshmen)…
“We’re really excited about the group as a whole. We got a couple of high school guys (Logan Landers and Maximus Edwards) that we really like, along with some veterans who have played college basketball in high level conferences (ACC, SEC and Sun Belt). We got a mixture of positions from a point guard in Markquis (Lowell) to Mark (Smith) as a combo guard to Max (Edwards) as a wing to Ismael as your stretch 4 and Logan (Landers) as your big man, who is very, very skilled.
“When we looked at it over the past few seasons, we had so many injuries. Now we hopefully have a full group and we will have lots of competition. We feel good about our players. We have had great workouts so far this spring. The focus has been unbelievable. We go into this offseason with the approach that we are going to be NCAA Tournament team and compete for the top of the Big 12.”
Assistant coach Shane Southwell (primary recruiter)
On the signing of Ismael Massoud…
“First off, Ismael is a really intelligent young man. He had some offers from some Ivy League schools coming out of high school. He comes from a great background. His mother and father provided him with some great worldly values that really translate on and off the court.
As a player, Ismael has a great reputation as a sharpshooter who can knock down tough shots. But he’s more than just a shooter, he’s a versatile offensive player who can put the ball on the floor and make a play. He’s a really underrated passer. There are some areas where he needs to improve, but we feel great as a staff, that we can help him make those improvements.”
On how Ismael Massoud fits on the team…
“He’s a definitely an upgrade to our forward spot, especially on the offensive end. He has that ability to stretch the floor with his shooting ability, but also as a passer. People have to be mindful of his ability as a passer and where he is on the floor. Just looking at his tape from this past season, you can watch the opposing bench and see how mad they were when Ismael got a shot up because he is that much of a scoring threat. He will definitely be a big-time weapon for us.”