Purdue sharpshooting junior guard Sasha Stefanovic, the Big Ten leader in 3-point percentage and Purdue's second-leading scorer on the season, will miss at least three games after testing positive for COVID-19, the team announced Friday. Big Ten protocols require him to miss at least the next 17 days from his positive test, and he must also pass further testing before returning to action.
Stefanovic's positive test and upcoming quarantine is a significant loss for Purdue with one of its biggest games of the season -- at home against No. 7 Michigan -- coming on Friday night. He's coming off one of his most complete outings of the season, too, in which he scored 15 points and made a huge second-half 3-pointer as the Boilermakers defeated No. 15 Ohio State on the road three days ago.
Having started in all 16 games this season for Purdue and emerged as one of the most reliable shooters in the country, Matt Painter has a tough task ahead of him in replacing Stefanovic. But it could be a good opportunity for freshman Jaden Ivey, whose role has steadily increased in recent weeks. Ivey hit the game-winning shot to oust Ohio State on Tuesday, and posted a career-high 15 points against the Buckeyes.
Purdue is set to welcome the Wolverines into Mackey Arena on Friday with a 7 p.m. ET tip. It has won its last four games in Big Ten play -- the longest active winning streak among all Big Ten teams -- but faces a stiff test from a 12-1 Michigan team that enters the night in sole possession of first place in the league standings.