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ASU Basketball: What To Expect From Newcomer Pavlo Dziuba

Where incoming freshman Pavlo Dziuba can make an immediate impact.

With Romello White transferring to Ole Miss, the Sun Devils lost two key elements - size and frontcourt scoring.

White was the only Arizona State frontcourt player last season to average over 10 points per game, while leading the team in rebounds by a wide margin. His 8.8 rebounds per game cleared his next closest teammate by at least 5 rebounds (Rob Edwards 3.6 rebounds).

This is where the incoming freshman Pavlo Dziuba can help immediately. Weighing at 225 pounds, Dziuba is the sturdiest Sun Devil, and his listed height of 6-foot-8 puts him in the mix for one of the tallest as well.

What makes Dziuba so intriguing is his combination of age, skillset and experience.

His birthday recently passed on July 3rd, want to guess how old he is?

17 YEARS OLD!!! Making him one of the youngest players in college basketball.

Dziuba is still a baby when looking at his birth certificate, but not when you watch him play. He still has a lot of room to grow, but he's already shown immense flashes in his short career. He can do a variety of different things on the basketball court that the Sun Devils will need.

Dziuba dazzled at the FIBA u16 Division B European Championships in Podgorica, Montenegro. His averages of 13.8 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists on 54.5% shooting from the floor and 32% from three turned the heads of ASU recruiters.

Originally thought to be a 2021 prospect, ASU knew they had to get him once they found out he was eligible for 2020, so they did.

Like a lot of stretch-bigs coming out of Europe, Dziuba has a similar skill set. He's not overly athletic but knows how to use angles to get to his spots, a face-up jump shooter with potential to be deadly from deep, and a solid IQ of knowing when to take his man off the dribble, when to pull up, or when to dish it.

His weaknesses are no different, as well.

He's's not a physically imposing interior presence on the defensive or offensive end, and his defensive instincts are not on the level you want them to be, but most teenagers struggle on that end.

Even though he might lack supreme defensive awareness, he does give effort. During his remarkable stretch in the European Championships, he averaged 1.4 blocks.

Dziuba's quickness at his size allows him to recover for his lapses on defense and beat bigger guys off the dribble when driving to the rim. He's a fluid athlete for someone who still might be growing into their body.

Now being a part of the Sun Devil culture for the foreseeable future, Bobby Hurley and his staff can mold him during his most impressionable years.

Dziuba has all the tools to be more than just a backup big man for the Sun Devils. With proper coaching, he can be a potential NBA prospect, which is something he believes as well.

"My goal is to make it to the NBA," Dziuba told ESPN. "If not at Barcelona, I didn't want to play for another European club. I want to test myself at the top level, and I think college basketball and specifically the Pac-12 will give me the best opportunity to show myself."

Projected to come off the bench, for now, Dziuba should definitely see minutes in a frontcourt rotation of Jalen Graham, Chris Osten, and himself.

Coach Bobby Hurley has even mentioned doing small doses of lineups without a true center. This could be perfect for Dziuba and the skill set he possesses. A big who can initiate offense, stretch the floor, and crash the boards could be a great complementary piece to the rest of this Sun Devils roster.

The potential for the variety of different ways Dziuba can be used is tantalizing. He's a sleeper Sun Devil fans should have their eye on.