“It all happened really fast, to be honest, but I’m glad it did,” Bagatskis wrote. “Feels nice to have the next step already planned out.”
Bagatskis said he was looking for a school in a good location with strong academics and that could offer him what he termed “a great role” on the court.
“The scope was pretty specific,” Bagatskis wrote. “Not a lot of schools could fit that criteria so I was very picky, to be honest.”
After an official visit that concluded Monday, Bagatskis decided on Tech, the only school he visited. Bagatskis said he had considered Xavier and some other Big East schools, but that none of the other teams were able to accommodate a visit during the time that he planned to be in the U.S., which he interpreted as a reflection of their prioritization of him. He was persuaded by Tech’s ability to meet his criteria.
“Everything just felt like the perfect storm,” he wrote.
It remains to be seen how quickly Bagatskis, who is 18, will be able to contribute. But Tech could use perimeter scoring help particularly with the graduation of guard Michael Devoe and guard/forward Jordan Usher. Last season, the Jackets finished the campaign shooting 35.3% from 3-point range (90th in Division I). It was their highest finish in that category in Pastner’s six seasons. The Jackets have been 266th or lower four times, although the two highest finishes were in the past two seasons.
Upon his signing, Bagatskis will become the Jackets’ lone incoming scholarship freshman. Tech is the only ACC team to not have signed an incoming freshman, although Pastner has signed transfers Lance Terry (Gardner-Webb) and Ja’von Franklin (South Alabama) since the season ended. Tech is now at 11 scholarships for the next season, two under the maximum.
Bagatskis follows two Latvian basketball players who have joined Tech’s women’s team last year. Digna Strautmane played one season after coming to Tech as a grad transfer from Syracuse. Elizabete Bulane was a freshman last season.