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Oh Hello: Daniil Kasatkin (PG) Signs Letter of Intent

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The 6’7” Russian (by way of Grundy, Virginia) is a versatile playmaker who could develop into a match-up nightmare.

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Ohio State vs Penn State Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Pronunciation: Duh-NEEL Kaa-SOT-Kin

Taking a chance on an unknown commodity is a risk in the college basketball recruiting world.

We’ve seen it not work out so well for Pat Chambers with recruitment of Davis Zemgulis, whose 3-pt range has rarely been witnessed during live-action. But we’ve also seen it lead to pleasant surprises as recently as Jamari Wheeler and John Harrar.

While both are lacking in their offensive abilities, the two unheralded recruits were signed late in the recruiting cycle and have since proved capable of competing against Division I talent.

While Myles Dread and Rasir Bolton deservedly receive the most attention in the 2018 recruiting class, I think Daniil Kasatkin is the most-intriguing new-arrival to the 2018-19 roster.

Kasatkin played his high school basketball at the Mountain Mission School in Grundy, Virginia (near the West Virginia and Kentucky border, but far from the radar of most scouts) after moving from Ivanovo, Russia. He’s a combo guard who can handle and distribute the ball, and is a talented shooter from inside and on the perimeter.

As Pat Chambers stated in an official release by the team:

In two seasons at the Mountain Mission School, Kasatkin averaged 14.2 points and 4.0 rebounds per game.

Notable based on the departure of both Shep Garner and Tony Carr in the offseason, Kasatkin shot 40% from 3-point range and 85% from the free throw line. If he can adjust to the speed of the game, he could provide an unconventional answer for Penn State to fill the void of point guard.

A nominee for Virginia’s 2018 McDonald’s All-American Game, Kasatkin did receive honors as a National Association of Christian Athletes All-American. He has also played for the Russian U-16 and U-18 national teams.