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June 26, 2012

SVT staying bolsters Louisville's front-court depth

With the news that Stephan Van Treese will be staying at Louisville, the Cardinals' front-court depth goes from deep to even deeper.

Monday night, Louisville play-by-play man and radio host Drew Deener broke the news that Stephan Van Treese would likely be staying on Louisville's roster for the 2012-13 season.

Louisville coach Rick Pitino confirmed the news to the Courier-Journal Tuesday morning. Pitino spoke with Van Treese about staying after learning of Van Treese's intention to transfer to a Division I school, which would have forced him to sit on the sideline for the second straight season.

"I said, 'Stephen, that's not what this whole thing was about, you need to play,'" Pitino told the C-J. "If you're going to sit out, stay at Louisville. It's silly to sit out again that's three years without playing. So he agreed and that's exactly what happened."

Van Treese likely won't be starter at either the four or five spot with Chane Behanan and Gorgui Dieng both returning, but he can provide added depth at both spots. After Van Treese announced his intention to transfer, the backups appeared to be set at Montrezl Harrell at power forward and Zach Price at center, but Van Treese will compete for playing time with both Harrell and Price.

The big 6-foot-8 Indianapolis native played just three games last season before being sidelined with a knee injury. he was one of four Cardinals who sat out most or all of the Big East season. Mike Marra (knee), Rakeem Buckles (knee), Van Treese and Luke Hancock (NCAA transfer) all missed Louisville's run through the Big East Tournament and the trip to the Final Four.

Even before Van Treese decided to stay and Harrell committed, Louisville's front court was named among the best in the nation by Yahoo! Sports. Now, with another Top 50 talent in Harrell and a veteran in Van Treese, the Cardinals are even stronger.

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