Penn State point guard Daniil Kasatkin has left the men’s basketball program and university to return home to Russia, according to a release from the program. The 6-foot-7 guard would have been a redshirt freshman this season, with four years of eligibility remaining. Per the release, it is Kasatkin’s intention to pursue professional basketball opportunities in his home country.
Kasatkin initially committed to Penn State in November of 2017 as a member of the 2018 recruiting class. He joined Penn State along with fellow point guard Rasir Bolton, combo guard Myreon Jones, and wing Myles Dread. With Kasatkin leaving, only Dread and Jones remain from that recruiting class, after Bolton’s transfer to Iowa State in the spring.
The lanky Kasatkin, a native of Ivanovo, Russia, joined the Nittany Lions as an unrated recruit out of Mountain Mission School in Virginia. Upon signing his letter of intent in April 2018, head coach Patrick Chambers described Kasatkin as “an unselfish playmaker” and “an elite shooter.”
Onlookers viewed Kasatkin as a project, and his presence on the roster did not limit the program’s flexibility, as they were able to carry transfer wing Izaiah Brockington through the full 2018-19 season as a redshirt. Ultimately, unless Kasatkin wows in the pros in Russia, his Penn State career is likely a net neutral.
Kasatkin’s departure opens up a scholarship for the Nittany Lions to once again bring in a transfer. It also means that Chambers now has two scholarships to work with for the class of 2020, assuming their current commits remain on board. So far, Penn State has received commitments from shooting guard Dallion Johnson and small forward Caleb Dorsey.