Rick Pitino has landed a commitment from Stephan Van Treese, a 6-foot-9 pivot man from Indiana Lawrence North, who will provide some much-needed front court bulk in the 2009 recruiting class. Van Treese was attracting attention from some major programs, including Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas and UCLA among others.

Van Treese apparently was offered a scholarship by former IU basketball coach Kelvin Sampson and had been rated among the top 30 recruits by analysts a year ago. He and Tom Cream apparently never meshed, however. Here’s what ESPN had to say about him in August:

“A strong power forward with a good body and one who is very athletic. He runs the floor well and can finish above the rim when he beats his man down the floor. Van Treese benefits from guard penetration where he can finish around the rim with a nice touch and on offensive put backs. I didn’t see much scoring inside but he did show range to about 15 feet.

Van Treese is also a good defensive rebounder and defender in the post. He does a great job of trying to hold his ground in the lane and contest shots. With a great understanding of team defense Van Treese is alert on the weak side and does a good job of helping a teammate that is beat on the drive and then he recovers to his man. He hustles on both ends of the floor but I though he should have been more aggressive to score inside when he did get a touch.”

The name rang a bell so the observer did some checking. Sure enough, a report from Wildcat Nation in September 2007 indicated that Stephan Van Treese “has been offered a scholarship by new UK coach Billy Gillispie,”

The road to Louisville obviously had a few twists and turns but he finally made the right one.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

4 thoughts on “Pitino Gets Commit From Van Treese”
  1. Very exciting news….love it that Crean lost out and Gillespie too……can’t wait to see this guy in action.

  2. This is great news! Van Treese is just the kind of guy that Coach Pitino can mold into something special. And it is a special bonus to snatch him out of Indiana and away from Tom Crean.

  3. Reading between the lines, Van Treese sounds like a workhorse, someone who can move his weight around and wear out opposing centers.

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