MOSCOW (EuroBasket/FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Sergey Karasev has quickly transitioned from up-and-coming star to Triumph Lyubertsy's 'go-to' man.
After making his senior team debut this year for the Russians at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Caracas, Venezuela, and making the Olympic squad, Karasev looks as if he has returned to Triumph with a determination to become one of his country's greats.
Over the weekend, Karasev made the big shot in a narrow victory against Spartak Saint Petersburg.
With the shot clock winding down and the contest knotted at 62-62, Karasev waited until just several seconds remained before he took a jumper from beyond the free-throw line.
The 19-year-old's left-handed shot was right on the mark.
Spartak only had two seconds to try and pull level or go ahead but failed to convert.
Karasev ran off the court with the home fans shouting his name.
He had scored a game-high 18 points.
That the coach of Triumph, Karasev's father Vasily, had the confidence in his son to make the shot would have come as no surprise because the youngster is a natural scorer.
"Karasev with the last shot - it's not a coincidence," Vasily said.
"Sergey is only young in age but not in experience."
Sergey Karasev has been on fire in the Eurocup.
Triumph have won all three of their games so far, heading into Wednesday evening's clash with VEF Riga.
Karasev has made nine of his 11 (81.8%) of his shots from behind the arc and is averaging 20.3 points per game.
For the teams that haven't been able to stop him and put him on the line, he has punished them by sinking 18 of 20 (90%) at the stripe.
It’s also helped that for the second year in a row, Karasev is a teammate of Tywain McKee.
The American guard was co-MVP of Week 2 in the Eurocup and then the MVP in Week 3.
Vasily Karasev is thought to be a leading candidate to succeed David Blatt as coach of Russia.
One certainty for next year at the EuroBasket, when Russia will try to qualify for the FIBA Basketball World Cup, appears to be that Sergey Karasev will be in the squad and perhaps have a prominent role.