In the summer of 2012, it appeared that Stephan Van Treese wouldn’t be finishing his college basketball career at the University of Louisville. After being told that he likely wouldn’t receive much playing time, SVT and Coach Pitino agreed that it would be best if he looked to transfer elsewhere to finish his career.
After a couple of weeks away from the program, somehow, someway, both sides agreed that it’d be best for SVT to return to the Louisville program. Midway through the 2012-13 season, Pitino announced that Van Treese would receive a fifth year of eligibility, due to only appearing in two games as a junior in 2011-12.
Stats may not show it, but the Indianapolis native played a big role for last year’s national title run. SVT was a consistent physical presence off of the bench and stepped up during Gorgui Dieng’s absence midway through the season.
Coach Pitino has high praise for Van Treese as he enters his fifth year with the program. Pitino has stated that he’ll likely start him at the center position and has also been complementary of SVT’s condition & weight training throughout the offseason.
As strange as it may sound, the one thing that Pitino wants to see from Van Treese is offensive productivity. Not necessarily scoring points, but actually taking shots.
“Coach really wasn’t happy with me in our first scrimmage, just because I didn’t shoot the ball,” Van Treese said at media day. “It’s all on me just to have the confidence to shoot the ball. I need to turn and look to score and not just to pass.”
“I’d sometimes rather pass than shoot and I’m just trying to break that habbit,” he says. “Sometimes we just play so fast that my first reaction is to look for the open man.”
Coach Pitino has maintained that the reason he won’t start Harrell and Behanan in the front-court together is because he wants them on the floor at the same time at the end of games. If any point, he has Mathiang and SVT on the court together, that leaves limited scoring in the front-court.
“We’re missing Gorgui’s scoring ability and I’m going to play a lot more this year, I think I’ll be hurting the team if I’m not looking to score,” SVT said when asked about becoming an offensive factor.
Stats may not show it, but I think Van Treese is going to have a bigger role for this team than some expect. Having a fifth year senior who is consistent and does all of the little things is extremely beneficial.