Pateev Commits to Sun Devils

Filling a pressing need for a big man in the 2009 recruiting class, Montverde Academy (Fla.) center Ruslan Pateev announced in a Wednesday afternoon press conference that he will sign with the Sun Devils. The 6-11 235 center chose Arizona State over Florida State. Devils Digest talked to Montverde's head coach Kevin Sutton following the decision.

"It was a very difficult decision," said Sutton. "When I talked to him at lunch time he still didn't know where he was going. He decided around 3 pm (ET) when we were getting ready for the press conference."

"It was hard to turn down Florida State because they're close by, and the coaches there do a great job landing the in-state kids. But at the end of the day you have to make the best decision for yourself. He felt that athletically, academically, and socially this was the best situation for him. Just like any kid he wants to go to a place where he can play right away and Arizona State presents that opportunity."

"It represented everything he wanted and where he wanted to be the next four years. That's where he felt the most comfortable."

Aside From Florida State, who Pateev visited last weekend, he also visited North Carolina State a couple of weeks ago.

Sutton added that Pateev's letter of intent will be expressed mailed today to the players' parents in Russia where it will be signed and mailed back to Arizona State.

Pateev averaged 10 points, 10 boards, and three blocked shots a game as a junior for Montverde Academy which finished this past season with a 24-6 record and nationally ranked. The center was an honorable All-Area mention at the conclusion of last season.

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."

Pateev joins Trent Lockett as the two signess in ASU's early signing period of the 2009 recruiting class.

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