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No Purdue seniors likely to return for extra season

Purdue's gotten some future roster clarity already this spring, as seniors-to-be Sasha Stefanovic and Eric Hunter have indicated that they do not plan to return to the program for an extra pandemic year of eligibility in 2022-2023, Matt Painter said Wednesday.

Fellow rising senior Trevion Williams has not made any such statement, but it's likely, Painter suggested, that he'd pursue professional opportunities after this season, should he return for it. Williams has entered his name for the NBA Draft, with the option to return to Purdue being maintained.

The NCAA has allowed for an extra season of eligibility at the back end of the careers of all student-athletes due to the unique circumstances of this season brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Next season, though, is the only year in which returnees won't count against programs' scholarship limits. Purdue had no seniors this past season, so the topic wasn't relevant; the Boilermaker football program will bring back several of its 2020 seniors.

Painter and his staff have been recruiting the 2022 high school class not knowing whether they'd need to hold back scholarships for potential returnees to fit under the ceiling of 13.

Hunter's and Stefanovic's early stances on the matter bring clarity to that question. They would maintain the option to play an extra year of college basketball elsewhere should they so choose.

Classmate Aaron Wheeler transferred out this spring, landing at St. John's.

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