Josh, Mike & Davis welcome to @PennStateMBB family!! #weare #ATTITUDE— Patrick Chambers (@Coach_Chambers) November 12, 2014
|Hometown||Loveville, MD (via Lithuania)|
|High School||St. Mary's Ryken HS|
Deividas "Davis" Zemgulis was without question the surprise component of the 2015 class. With no other reported offers and only interest from mid-major programs at the time of his commitment, it was somewhat perplexing to see Penn State after a kid that was so unheralded while simultaneously recruiting all of the big fish in the proverbial DMV hoops pond.
Then, we saw this, and we fell in love:
If you're questioning that adulation, consider that Penn State shot 29.4% from three during Big Ten play in 2013-14.
Zemgulis' recruitment was one of those old 'crootin stories you always hear - coach shows up to watch big-time prospect, coach gets wowed by unknown player, coach offers unknown player, player accepts lone major offer, player becomes star. Time will tell how this Pelenė story ends, but the script has been followed to a T so far. According to this Lions247 profile, Penn State assistant Dwayne Anderson was scouting DeMatha Catholic's Joe Hampton (before he committed to PSU) and saw Zemgulis hit five triples en route to 17 points. Anderson offered him on the spot, and after one visit Zemguils was convinced that State College was the place for him.
A member of the Lithuanian team at the 2013 FIBA U-16 Championship, Zemgulis will give the Nittany Lions an outside shooter from day one and a body suited to guard the multiple positions. He'll be a prime candidate to fill Brandon Taylor's shoes at small forward upon BT's graduation after the 2016 season.
And if Davis never even steps on the hallowed BJC floor, we'll at least have this fantastic quote from Josh Verlin's excellent profile of Zemgulis over at CoBL:
"I came from nothing," he said, "and now I have Penn State."
You can follow Zemgulis on Twitter at @DZ00LT.
Welcome to Penn State, Davis!
Bonus footage! From the game Davis earned his offer. Note the hot start that probably caught Anderson's attention: