"Ruslan likes the conference they (ASU) plays in and the direction the program it is headed."
Montverde Academy finished this past season with a 24-6 record and nationally ranked. Its starting five featured four seniors who will play at high-major schools. Among them Steve Tchiengang (signed with Vanderbilt), Dashan Harris (Texas A&M), and Marcus Capers (Washington State). Nonetheless, then- junior Ruslan Pateev didn't get lost in the mix with the Eagles.
Pateev averaged 10 points, 10 boards, and three blocked shots a game. "Ruslan has continued to improve," said Sutton, "and now he's a D-I prospect. His offense is very strong."
Pateev, who hails from Moscow, was an honorable All-Area mention at the conclusion of last season, which was his second at Montverde.
In a past Devils Digest interview Sutton said the following regarding Pateev's skills: "He's very skilled and runs the floor well. He can play with his face to the basket, but can also score on the block…he's a solid defender that's hard to score on."
Arizona State is the center's only scheduled official visit to date, and Sutton indicated that schools such SMU, Florida State, Pitt and Georgia Tech are some of the schools also showing strong interest in Pateev.
Naturally, playing over 5,000 miles away from home shows the willingness of Pateev to spread his wings. Nonetheless, how much further would the center be willing to move away from his current Florida home?
"Wherever he feels the best situation is for him that's where he'll go to," Sutton said. "He already made the hard decision to leave Russia."
Coach Sutton indicated that there has no decision been made to whether Pateev will sign in the November signing period or in April. "We haven't discussed that yet," Sutton commented. "Right now he's open to all the schools recruiting him. If does find the right fit he will sign early."
Sutton added that Pateev is an honor roll student and is well on track to qualify academically. "Since I've been here at Montverde Academy I've had 22 players play on scholarship and 22 out 22 were full qualifiers, and Ruslan will be a full qualifier," Sutton stated.