"I told him that it couldn't get much better than Arizona State, NC State, and Florida State," said Montverde head coach Kevin Sutton. "He's a kid who came here looking to earn a scholarship and now he has three great ones. Two of them are from schools in the ACC, arguably the toughest conference, top-to-bottom, in the country. The other is in the Pac-10, which if you look at the past two NBA drafts, continues to put out high-level players."
Checking in at 7-feet and 240 pounds, Pateev plays center and power forward for Montverde.
"What people don't realize is he averaged a double-double for us last year as the fifth option," said coach Sutton. "He played with four other guys who are playing Division I basketball this fall, and three of them are on the high-major level in Steve Tchiengang (Vanderbilt), Dashan Harris (Texas A&M), and Marcus Capers (Washington State).
"Ruslan is a more confident player this year and he's going to be our #1 option. He has improved leaps and bounds from last year... he's always had the skill set and high basketball IQ. He'll be playing the five and the four for us. He's very good at the four where he can face up because he is strong on pick-and-rolls and he can make great decisions."
Pateev took his first official visit a couple of weekends back when he headed out west to Arizona State. The Sun Devils, coached by Herb Sendek, have recruited Pateev the longest.
"He had a great time at Arizona State," said coach Sutton. "He said it was an informative trip, and he likes the direction the basketball program was headed under coach Sendek. The facilities speak for themselves and having the chance to play in the Pac-10 is a plus. It was a productive trip."
Last week he flew up to Raleigh, North Carolina where he was hosted by Sidney Lowe and NC State.
"He also had a great time at NC State," said coach Sutton. "He enjoyed having the opportunity to meet their players, the coaching staff, and the people around campus. He had a chance to talk with the athletic direction and liked their facilities as well. He told me that he had a really good time up at NC State."
For his final visit, Pateev will check out Florida State this weekend. After that trip, he will sit down with those close to him and decide on his future college.
"I'm not sure about him having a leader because I think he's trying to make an educated decision," said coach Sutton. "He's going to give each school their shot at putting their best foot forward. He will go to Florida State and see what they have to offer. I think it's smart on his part to make sure he evaluates each program.
"He has an incredible decision to make, but he'll make it. After he takes his last visit, we'll sit down and take it all in. We will see which one he feels most comfortable with academically, socially, and athletically and go from there. With the options on the table it looks like he will be signing this fall because he really can't go wrong with any of the schools."