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Purdue lands shooter in guard Sasha Stefanovic

Crown Point's Sasha Stefanovic, an Indiana All-Star, has signed with Purdue. (Photo courtesy of Purdue Athletics)
Crown Point's Sasha Stefanovic, an Indiana All-Star, has signed with Purdue. (Photo courtesy of Purdue Athletics)

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ONLINE: For more on sports, follow Pete DiPrimio via Twitter at www.twitter.com/pdiprimio

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press

Crown Point standout is Indiana All-Star

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 03:55 pm

Once again, Matt Painter has gone for the shooter.

This time is Crown Point shooting guard Sasha Stefanovic, who officially signed with Purdue on Wednesday.

The 6-4 Stefanovic was named was named to the Indiana All-Star team this week. He averaged 19.9 points and 6.9 rebounds as a senior to lead Crown Point to a 22-4 record. He set the school career scoring record with 1,385 points.

The three-star prospect joins Eden Ewing, Aaron Wheeler, Nojel Eastern and Matt Haarms, who signed in the fall.

Stefanovic fits in the mold of current Boiler Dakota Mathias and former Boiler Ryne Smith (who just joined the Miami of Ohio staff under former Purdue associate head coach Jack Owens). He's a strong outside shooter who cemented himself in Crown Point basketball history by hitting a 30-foot shot just before the regulation buzzer to force overtime in the 2016 sectional title game. Crown Point went on to win its second straight sectional championship

This past season Crown Point won the Duneland Athletic Conference title.

This continues Painter's emphasis to sign at least one strong shooter per class. It's among the reasons why Purdue led the Big Ten in three-point baskets made this past season.

More than that, Stefanovic also can handle a point guard role, rebound and defend.

“We have had a goal of recruiting an outstanding shooter in every class and we continued to do that by signing Sasha,” Painter said in a university release. “This past year, his game evolved into more than that and he has become a much more complete and developed player. Sasha really knows how to play. He has great size and potential in our system. We are excited about him joining our program.”


Stefanovic's father, Lou, was an all-conference-player at Illinois State in the mid-1980s and then professionally overseas.

Stefanovic was generating lots of recruiting buzz last spring, but then he hurt his ankle and missed a lot of summer travel-ball opportunity. With a lot of Power 5 Conference teams backing off, although he had plenty of mid-major offers, he decided to wait until the spring to sign.

Specifically, he was waiting on Purdue.

When Painter saw him total 14 points and 14 rebounds in a February game for Crown Point, he was convinced. He had a scholarship available after dismissing swingman Basil Smotherman from the team. He offered a scholarship, and Stefanovic accepted.

In the final Rivals.com Class of 2017 top-150 recruiting rankings, Eastern came in at No. 73 and Wheeler at No. 149.

Purdue's class is ranked No. 23 nationally by 247Sports.com and 39th by ESPN.com.

Purdue also is likely to sign at least one more player this spring with the anticipation that sophomore forward Caleb Swanigan will stay in the NBA Draft and won't return to school. Swanigan has until May 24 to decide.

Two other Boilers have entered the NBA draft, although they are likely to return — forward Vince Edwards and center Isaac Haas.

The top target is big man Malik Ondigo, who visited Purdue last weekend. The Boilers are also again in the mix for a graduate transfer.

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ONLINE: For more on sports, follow Pete DiPrimio via Twitter at www.twitter.com/pdiprimio

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