PULLMAN – An assistant on Washington State’s basketball staff, John Andrzejek is preparing for his future as a head coach.
Andrzejek attended the TopConnect Basketball Symposium on Monday in Las Vegas. The event invites the top assistant basketball coaches in the country and connects them with mid-major athletic directors, “providing tremendous networking and leadership development opportunities for both parties,” according to a WSU release.
TopConnect attendees learn from various experts and leaders in college sports. Monday’s panels featured four head coaches, nine athletic directors and five members of prominent organizations that specialize in advising athletic departments. In short, TopConnect’s speakers offer guidance for aspiring head coaches and ADs.
Since TopConnect’s inception five years ago, 34 participants have moved up to jobs as either head coaches or athletic directors.
Entering his fourth season on coach Kyle Smith’s WSU staff, Andrzejek has been an integral part of the Cougars’ rise in recent years. His deep knowledge of basketball analytics is indispensable in WSU’s “Nerdball” approach to the game, and he has come to be known as an international recruiting ace. Without Andrzejek, the Cougs probably wouldn’t have reeled in overseas standouts and future pros such as Mouhamed Gueye and Efe Abogidi. Gueye, a soon-to-be sophomore at WSU, is rising on 2023 mock draft boards and Abogidi recently signed with G League Ignite to boost his stock ahead of next year’s NBA draft.
In 2020, ESPN ranked Andrzejek No. 39 on its “40 under 40” list, which recognized the best 40 Division I assistants under 40 years old. Later that year, he was also named the No. 22 recruiter in college basketball by 247Sports.com.
Before WSU, Andrzejek assisted at Dartmouth for one season and served as an assistant/recruiting coordinator at John Hopkins the year prior. He was Smith’s director of operations at San Francisco in 2016-17. Andrzejek and Smith first teamed up in the early 2010s at Ivy League member Columbia – Andrzejek’s alma mater.