Cardinal Preview: Stephan Van Treese

Cardinal Authority will be featuring the players on the University of Louisville men's basketball roster this week. Next up is senior center Stephan Van Treese, who almost left the program but is expected to contribute this season.

Stephan Van Treese just smiles when asked the question.

"Yes, I am glad I stayed," Van Treese said.

The 6-foot-9 senior backup center for the University of Louisville said in early June that he was going to transfer from the program. Van Treese was injured last season and U of L had 14 players on scholarship after the late signing of Montrezl Harrell, so Van Treese opted to leave.

"I just felt like at the time it was better for me to leave," Van Treese said. "At the time, I was thinking about playing Division II. Then, I realized I didn't want to play Division II, so it would have been a waste for me to sit our somewhere (Division I).

So less than a month after saying he was leaving, Van Treese was back at U of L. Rakeem Buckles had transferred to Florida International, leaving a spot open for the Indianapolis native Van Treese to return.

"It was better for me to stay," he said. "It made more sense and really for me it was the best thing that I could have done."

And his teammates were happy to have him back.

"He was here and then gone and then back again, all so fast," senior guard Peyton Siva said. "But we're glad he's back. He's going to help us."

A role player throughout his career, Van Treese will primarily be a back up for All-American center Gorgui Dieng. He'll be used to give the Cardinals some depth on the front line and Dieng called him "a banger."

I'm excited I decided to come back and I'm healthy," Van Treese said. "I have improved and I know I'm stronger. I am ready to help out."

As a freshman, Van Treese averaged just 2.8 minutes a game in 16 games but as a sophomore he averaged 2.9 points and played in 33 games. Van Treese started 12 games during that season and averaged 3.5 rebounds in 13 minutes a contest.

Now, Van Treese has been in the program for four years. He said he knows what to expect and wants to help on the floor and also be a leader.

"I know I am doing well in practice" he said. "I know I can play at this level. I am finally starting to play like myself, like I did when I was a sophomore.

"I just want to do whatever I can to help this team."

Van Treese had two points and six rebounds in the exhibition game against Pikeville. He had 10 points and 10 rebounds in the three Red-White games.

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