East Valley Tribune
The rebuilding process for the Arizona State men’s basketball team could be accelerated if a pair of prospects on the radar become Sun Devils.
With the departures of Jeff Pendergraph and, most likely, James Harden, ASU seems to be short on impact players for next season. But the addition of Kyryl Natyazhko, Darius Smith, or both, could make the transition smooth.
Natyazhko, a 6-foot-10, 250-pound post player from the IMG Academy in Florida, is on an official visit to Arizona State’s campus this weekend, according to Chris Karpman at ASUdevils.com. Natyazhko is being recruited by Pittsburgh, Xavier and Kentucky, among others.
Smith, a defensive-minded point guard from Chicago, also is interested in ASU and could take a visit before the start of the spring signing period.
Natyazhko is a four-star prospect and Smith has a three-star ranking. Both are ranked among the top 115 players in the nation by Rivals.com. Arizona State already has two players - wings Demetrius Walker of Phoenix St. Mary’s and Trent Lockett from Minnesota - ranked in the top 115. Lockett has a four-star rating and Walker a three-star.
ASU’s other commitment is Ruslan Pateev, a three-star, 7-foot center from Florida who chose the Sun Devils over offers from Florida State and coach Herb Sendek’s former college, North Carolina State.