WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — For the most wonderful time of the year, Purde guard Sasha Stefanovic took to the mic one last time in 2021 to share all things Purdue basketball.
In Episode 7 of the Sasha Live! Podcast, Stefanovic recalls the Boilermakers being ranked No. 1 for the first time in program history, the team's first loss of the season to Rutgers and the win over NC State at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Here are some highlights of the podcast. You can watch the entire show below. The next podcast will be in the new year at Mad Mushroom Pizza, 320 West State Street in West Lafayette. The show can also be watched live on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
— On being ranked No. 1
"It's just a lot of great players, a lot of great teams, and obviously some great coaches have been within this program within the entirety of this school's history, so for our team and this special group of guys to be the team to get over that hump and to be No. 1 in the country at one point, it's a big deal to us.
"Obviously, we didn't play well (Rutgers game) and everything like that, but you know it doesn't take away the fact that we got to that point, and hopefully within the end of this year, we can get back to that point as well. It was a big honor, and it's a cool thing for us and our team. You briefly celebrate it, but then it's kind of back to business."
— On Ron Harper Jr.'s buzzer beater in Purdue's first loss of the season to Rutgers
"It's tough. I have a lot of respect for Ron Harper Jr. I think he's a great player in this league. It was a crazy shot obviously. We didn't play very well. Personally, I didn't play very well to get us into that position. It's one of those things where you live, move on, watch the tape, watch as much film as you can, learn from your mistakes and try to evaluate what went wrong.
"Right when he released that, I knew it was in. I was right at the baseline underneath the hoop, and it just looked good the whole way. It was a tremendous shot. They beat us, and they earned that win. We didn't play very well. It's a tough place to play, but we just have to move on."
— On Trevion Williams
"He's been tremendous this whole year really, but these past two weeks, I thought he's done a great job being the leader and showing his experience on the floor. His ability to rebound, pass, score, kind of do everything for us, provide energy on the defensive side of the floor — he's tremendous."
— On what Purdue needed to improve upon after Rutgers loss
"A little bit of everything. Our issues were on the defensive side of the floor where we were making simple mistakes. It was more of an 'us, not them' kind of thing. We were the ones making the mistakes, and that team was capitalizing on it."
— On NC State win
"The first 35 minutes of the game, we didn't really play well.We showed a lot of grit in the last few minutes, and we were able to squeak out a good win against a great team. It was big for us to go 3-0 against the ACC this year so far, so yeah it was a great win, a great environment."
—On Sasha finding his rhythm in the NC State game
"I finally started to feel myself get into the flow of the game and feel more comfortable. Early on, I wasn't completely contributing at either side of the court for my team. I just thought I didn't play very well at all, but you see your teammates giving it their all and guys lifting you up to be more confident throughout the game.
"Late in the game, we ran some great sets, and I was able to get some great open looks and I was able to hit a three and then that layup. You just have to find yourself within the flow of the game."
— On Butler matchup on Saturday
"They're a great team. They're very tough. We talk a lot about the teams in our league like Michigan State or Indiana or whatever team — they're going to play tough always, and Butler's one of those teams that's going to do the same thing. They're really physical. They got a lot of great shooters, a lot of scorers that can get buckets at anytime."
Watch the Sasha Live! podcast
Stories Related to Purdue Basketball
- JOIN US FOR EPISODE SEVEN OF SASHA LIVE! PODCAST: It's time for Episode 7 of the Sasha Live! Podcast, with the show being broadcast live on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. ET at Mad Mushroom Pizza in West Lafayette. Purdue guard Sasha Stefanovic will break down the entire week, which includes the Boilers' first loss of the season at Rutgers. CLICK HERE.
- PURDUE FALLS TO THIRD IN AP TOP 25 POLL: Purdue basketball fell to No. 3 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll after being defeated on a buzzer-beater 3-pointer against Rutgers. The team nearly followed with a loss against North Carolina State but rallied for a victory in overtime. CLICK HERE
- PURDUE RALLIES PAST NC STATE IN OVERTIME: Senior forward Trevion Williams scored 22 points and registered 12 rebounds and a career-high nine assists as Purdue came back from down 13 points in the second half against North Carolina State. The Boilermakers found their first lead of the contest in overtime and avoided losing two straight games. CLICK HERE