Eric Crawford did a masterful job with the series on the team after the championship, and his SVT profile is hard to top. Go read that and I'll wait.
Got lost down the rabbit hole re-reading all the profile pieces did you? I've been waiting this whole time. Okay fine, I was watching some videos. Like, go to the :45 second mark in this video:
Ok, fine, I watched this entire video but just make sure to pay attention around the 4:40 mark:
My favorite SVT trivia is that he will always be the last active player who played in Freedom Hall. Hard to believe but he was a freshman on that team. He also was a key contributor in the Miracle on Main and was an indispensable contributor on a national championship team. Without him, we simply don't win the championship last year - he gave Gorgui must-needed rest in the first half of games and was part of the substitution pattern with Luke, Trez and Kevin Ware that seemed to break open games in the first half with their energy and intensity. He's probably the most unheralded person on the defending national champions, but it's almost certain we will need him to come up big in at least 1 game if not more to make sure this season doesn't end.
The benefit of being a Louisville fan is that you get to know your players and get used to them. It's hard to imagine a team not having Stephen Van Treese on it. He's played for Louisville since 2009 and seemingly never got enough minutes. This season, his senior year, he still split time with another center, until seemingly solidifying himself over the last few weeks as the primary option at the 5. He's the guy who makes college basketball fun: you watch him grow up, he plays hard, sacrifices for the team, gives you everything he's got.
I feel like there's not as much to say about him right now because his story is not complete. Van Treese has always seemed underrated. He has been in the background for 5 years, helping his team win, setting fundamentally sound picks, putting back dunks, making the occasional jump shot that's like, wait, why isn't he shooting that more? If this team is going to become a dynasty, it will not be easy, and there will be at least one moment, one game, one play where Stephen Van Treese is the one who steps up and does what needs to be done. If the season ended tomorrow, his career here would be a success and we would always remember him as the player who gave everything for Louisville basketball and never seemed to get enough back in return.
Luckily the season doesn't end tomorrow and there are more screens, more Steves, more follow-up dunks and more wins for SVT to be a part of, whether he gets the credit he deserves or not.