LOGAN, Utah – Utah State head men’s basketball coach Craig Smith has announced the signing of 6-foot-6 guard Zahar Vedischev, who will have four years to compete and will join the Aggies for the 2020-21 season.
Vedischev recently excelled on the international stage, playing for his native Russia in the U19 World Basketball Championships in Greece during the summer of 2019. Vedischev finished the tournament as the 10th-best scorer, averaging 16.5 points per game and scoring 22 or more points in each of his final three games. He was especially potent against the United States in the quarterfinals, scoring a team-high 24 points and shooting 53.3 percent (8-of-15) from the floor and 55.6 percent (5-of-9) from behind the 3-point line. Vedischev then turned in the first of back-to-back 22-point performances in the very next game against Serbia, shooting 50.0 percent (8-of-16) from the floor and a scorching 66.7 percent (6-of-9) from behind the 3-point line, while also adding nine assists.
Over the course of the tournament, Vedischev shot 41.5 percent (34-of-82) from the floor, 40.4 percent (21-of-52) from behind the 3-point line and 83.3 percent (10-of-12) at the free throw line. In addition to his 16.5 points per game, he also turned in 3.2 assists and 2.8 rebounds in each contest. His strong showing at the tournament lead him to be named to an impressive Top-5 players list that also included University of South Carolina’s AJ Lawson (Canada), Iowa State’s Tyrese Haliburton (U.S.A.) and Gonzaga-bound Julian Strawther (Puerto Rico).
Vedischev has played each of the last two seasons for PBC Lokomotiv Kuban-2 in Krasnodar, Russia, averaging 28.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Vedischev was one of Lokomotiv’s top perimeter threats, connecting on 37 percent from long range and making 5.5 3-point baskets per game. He was also incredibly accurate at the free throw line, shooting 91.7 percent from the charity stripe.
“We are thrilled to announce that Z will be joining the Aggie family,” Smith said. “Z is a skilled guard with excellent size at 6-6. Although just a freshman, he brings a wealth of quality experience to our program.”