Did IU See Enough from Van Treese?

Tom Crean and the Hoosier staff were regulars at Indiana Elite's AAU games last week, and they were keeping a very close eye on Stephan Van Treese. Did Van Treese do enough to earn an IU offer? Van Treese talks about his play and where things stand with the Hoosiers...

Stephan Van Treese realizes all good things must come to an end.

After helping lead Indiana Elite to the Kentucky Hoopfest championship last week, Van Treese is taking a week off from the AAU circuit to prepare for his team's trip to Las Vegas for nationals next week. But he knows his final event will be without a couple of familiar faces – Jordan Hulls and David Blackwell.

VanTreese has been playing AAU basketball with the Bloomington South H.S. duo since they were all in elementary school, and they've managed to pile up a slew of championships at all age divisions along the way. But Hulls and Blackwell will miss out on the finale of the AAU season due to commitments with their high school team, which will also be playing in Las Vegas next week.

"We're going to miss those guys, but we're still going to try to do our best," said Van Treese. "I know we're one of the best AAU teams in the country, and now I just want to go out there and prove it. I don't think we've proven it yet."

Van Treese, meanwhile, is still trying to prove himself as well. Specifically, he's been trying to show Tom Crean and staff that he's worthy of their final scholarship for the 2009 class. After being offered by Kelvin Sampson's staff, Crean sat down with Van Treese recently and told him he wanted to have a chance to see him play before deciding whether or not to extend the offer.

"That's kind of what I expected, especially with everything that's been going on," Van Treese said. "A lot of the guys who have committed (to IU) are guys they were recruiting at Marquette, and they weren't recruiting me then. So it didn't hurt my feelings. If they like other guys better than me, then they should take them. I know if they really want me they'll come at me."

The IU staff were regulars at both the Kentucky Hoopfest and at the adidas It Takes 5ive event in Cincinnati last week, which gave them a great opportunity to evaluate Van Treese as well as future Hoosiers Hulls and Bobby Capobianco. Crean only has seven days on the road this month due to IU's self-imposed sanctions, and he opted to use two of those days in Cincinnati and was a regular at the Indiana Elite's contests.

Crean had a chance to see the Lawrence North H.S. standout play an even bigger role than normal due to the absence of Duke-bound big man Mason Plumlee, who was busy trying out for (and making) the U.S.'s Under-18 national team.

"I definitely felt like I was able to get out there and have a little bit more freedom," said Van Treese. "I felt like I had to step up and score more and play even harder. I felt I had a good week. I was pretty consistent."

Whether it was enough to earn an IU scholarship offer, Van Treese will have to wait and see. He said he hasn't talked to IU since the tourney wrapped up because the Hoosier staff has already used its one phone call this month. But he said he does plan on calling them soon to find out what their thoughts are.

"I feel I have a chance to have an offer, but if he waits, I'm not in any hurry," Van Treese said. "I'm just trying to evaluate my schools right now."

His list of schools remains the same as it's been for some time – Indiana, Kansas, UCLA, Ohio State and Louisville. He said he believes staff members from all five schools were on hand to watch him play last week.

From past conversations with Crean, Van Treese does know the new IU coach is giving serious consideration to making him the final piece to his 2009 class. Crean has told him he has the tools that he's looking for out of the ‘4' position.

"When I first met him, he said I fit his mold, so I know I'm his type of player," Van Treese said. "I know he likes someone who can drive the basket, hit that jumper and be able to defend the 3 and 4. Someone who can rebound and plays hard.

"He just wanted to watch me more and see what else I bring to the table."

Van Treese brought plenty to the table last week at two big AAU events, and now it's just a question of whether it was enough for IU to put a scholarship offer on the table.

Peegs.com Top Stories