Jan 22, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Louisville Cardinals forward Stephan Van Treese (44) celebrates with forward Montrezl Harrell (24) during the first half against the Villanova Wildcats at the Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Stephan Van Treese: Doing the Dirty Work

In the summer of 2012, Stephan Van Treese was coming off a season that saw him play in only 3 games his junior year due to a nagging knee injury. With Gorgui Dieng solidifying himself as the starting center and Virginia Tech transfer Montrezl Harrell on his way to Louisville, it looked as if Van Treese would be lost in the shuffle. So in June of that year, Van Treese decided it would be in his best interest to transfer somewhere that he could get more playing time. Something that just wasn’t going to happen at Louisville with all the depth they had. While Van Treese was out looking for potential programs to transfer to, his teammate Rakeem Buckles decided he would transfer to FIU to be closer to home. Not wanting to sit out another year for transferring to another D1 school, Van Treese decided to stay at Louisville. This was welcome news to Rick Pitino and staff.
When you look at the stat sheet at the end of a Louisville game you won’t find big numbers beside Van Treese’s name, maybe a few points 4 or 5 rebounds and a block. But what you don’t see are the valuable minutes he has given this team this year. Whether it be 2 or 3 minutes to give Behanan or Harrell a breather, or 10 to 12 minutes when Dieng is in foul trouble, he has filled the role nicely. He’s the guy on the floor getting those important 50/50 balls, taking a charge to prevent a sure lay-up or grabbing that one rebound when it’s most needed. In The Big East Championship game against Syracuse he only played 2 minutes, had 2 rebounds and 2 points. Those 2 points were on a put back that kept the momentum going in the middle of a 27-3 run that the Cards would use to capture another Big East Title. It’s not always pretty or glamorous, but Van Treese has established himself as the blue collar guy on the floor. And if Louisville is to make a deep run in this year’s tournament, it will be Van Treese’s small but important piece of the large puzzle that will help make it happen.

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