Van Treese Talks Fave Five, Capobianco

Bloomington – Worried about Bobby Capobianco's commitment having a negative impact on IU's efforts with Stephan Van Treese? Think again...

Bloomington – Worried about Bobby Capobianco's commitment having a negative impact on IU's efforts with Stephan Van Treese?

Think again.

When Capobianco decided to pledge to IU Coach Tom Crean last week, one of the first people he called afterwards was his Indiana Elite AAU teammate Van Treese. What was his message to the 6-8, 225-pound forward from Indianapolis' Lawrence North H.S.?

"He called me and said he was committing and that he needed a roommate," Van Treese said. "I just started laughing."

While Van Treese found Capobianco's remarks funny, he is giving serious consideration to joining him in Bloomington. Van Treese said he's basically considering five schools – Indiana, Kansas, UCLA, Louisville and Ohio State – while Florida is a potential sixth possibility.

Others can pretty well move in another direction. Pitt offered Van Treese a scholarship last weekend after Indiana Elite competed in the Pitt Jam Fest, but Van Treese told the Panthers he wasn't interested.

"I don't think any other schools will get involved," Van Treese said. "I'm really trying to focus on those five."

While Indiana has the edge when it comes to proximity and the fact Van Treese says he's always been an IU fan, it won't be easy to keep him in-state. His other suitors have national names as well, with each of those schools having been in a Final Four in the past three years.

Fresh off a national title, Kansas has impressed Van Treese with not only this season's success, but also their tradition for having very productive power forwards.

"I love how they play and how they use the four position, how they run the floor," Van Treese said.

Louisville and Ohio State have head coaches that appeal to Van Treese, while UCLA is one of the game's most storied programs. Van Treese said UCLA Coach Ben Howland might be in Indianapolis this weekend to see him play in the Top 100 Showcase at Ben Davis High school.

But Van Treese says Indiana is on equal footing with those other four programs. That could change if the program is handed harsh penalties by the NCAA when IU officials appear before the Infractions Committee in June, but if that hurdle is cleared, Indiana figures to be in it to the very end for Van Treese.

While Van Treese has yet to met with new IU Coach Tom Crean, he said he has talked to him on the phone twice and he's in the beginning stages of getting to know the former Marquette coach.

"He told me he wants me there," Van Treese said. "He told me how interested he is and how something special is going to start happening down there."

To do that Crean knows he's going to have to attract players of Van Treese's caliber. Scout.com's 36th-ranked player in the 2009 class, Van Treese is the highest ranked player in the state and a player that IU has been targeting for some time.

While Indiana already has a couple of forwards in the fold in '09, that's a positive to Van Treese as opposed to a negative. He likes the fact that IU is bringing the type of players that can make it a national player once again.

"(Crean) knows he can get Indiana back to being a powerhouse if he can start getting guys like Bobby and me and Elston," Van Treese said. "I think getting a guy like Bobby is a big plus. Bobby is one of my best friends. I love Bobby, I love how he plays. Me and him together is pretty powerful."

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