Two weeks, two commitments from off-the-radar prospects for Pat Chambers. Daniil Kasatkin, a Russian guard from Mountain Mission School in Virginia is the latest prep player to unexpectedly join Penn State's class of 2018. The sweet-shooting Kasatkin will team up with signees Myles Dread and Rasir Bolton, in addition to recent commitment Tolu Jacobs. This does technically put the Nittany Lions over the scholarship limit for next season - more on that below.
— Daniil Kasatkin (@493kasatkin) November 20, 2017
The Kasatkin File
- Class: 2018
- Size: 6'7, 182lbs
- Pos: G
- School: Mountain Mission School (Grundy, VA)
- Hometown: Ivanovo, Russia
- Composite Rating: NR
- Composite Rank: NR
Chambers was in search of a wing prospect for much of the fall to supplement the 2018 class. That's why Jacobs' commitment was a surprise after the Lions missed on their main wing targets in Jared Rhoden (Seton Hall), Adrien Nunez (Michigan) and Jack Clark (La Salle). Kasatkin is listed as a point guard by many services, but it seems he could also fill the shooting role the program has desired in this cycle.
Kasatkin was likely discovered by the Penn State staff when they were originally recruiting MMS big man Flo Thamba. Since Jacobs committed, Thamba is no longer in the picture, but PSU's scouting trips weren't all for naught. The staff must have appreciated what they found in Kasatkin and sent him an offer at the end of October. After taking an official visit this past weekend, he didn't wait to pull the trigger. While the Russian has had plenty of admirers in the scouting community, there are no reports of other formal offers from D-I programs.
— Paul Biancardi (@PaulBiancardi) November 12, 2016
Daniil Kasatkin, top Russian point guard prospect (1999) and arguably best Russian player of his generation, to miss U16 Euro. @Eurohopes
— Nikita Golovanov (@kotgecbr) July 22, 2015
Based on the film that's out there, Kasatkin does have the makings of a point guard. There's a lot to work with here offensively - his vision and jumpshot stand out in the below mixtape. The questions will center around his athleticism and defensive ability at the next level. On paper, this commitment closely resembles Davis Zemgulis from back in 2014. The junior forward from Lithuania has not developed into much of a contributor through three years, so hopefully the staff yields better results from this recruitment.
As for the scholarship situation, that's a bit foggy right now. Since the program can't publicly comment on these things, speculation will mount about who will depart the program in addition to Julian Moore and Shep Garner after the season. Someone has to in order to free up a scholarship for Kasatkin. There are current players with future pro careers on the roster, but perhaps someone else could be on pace to graduate early like Isaiah Washington last spring. Regradless, nothing will become official until after the season plays out.