Saturday, 22 August 2009

Rouge et Or compete but fall short

As previously posted here, for much of last night's tussle with Towson Tigers, Laval Rouge et Or held their own, taking leads of as much as six points in the first half and leading by 2 early on before Towson's athletic ability and depth took over in the last 10 minutes to make the final result look more lopsided than it really was. Laval's fortunes were changed late in the first half when their 6'5" NCAA Division 1 transfer Etienne Labrecque sustained a dislocated finger and missed the remainder of the game. Labrecque is expected to be out another 2-3 weeks and will miss tonight's rematch between the two teams.

New Laval Head Coach Jacques Paiement Jr., officially named to the position this past May 1st after his father retired, was pleased with the effort from his troops as he tries to develop some depth beyond what is arguably one of the better first six rotations in the CIS with 5'9" point guard Xavier Baribeau, 6'3" former CIS Rookie-of-the-Year J.F. Beaulieu-Mahieux on the wing plus Labrecque and 6'4" Jerome Turcotte and 6'5" center F.O. Gagnon-Hebert. With Labrecque out this evening, expect 6'2" Christian Deslauriers-Trottier a native of Gatineau, PQ who played for Paiement at CEGEP Ste. Foy, normally the sixth man, to step into the starting lineup. These first six, along with graduated 6'8" center Marc-Andre Cote, accounted for the majority of the minutes in last season's rotation; minutes are something Paiement would like to spread out a bit more this season.

Paiement had his first opportunity to work his three recruits, including a pair of backup point guards, into game action. 5'8" J.P. Renaud played about 10 minutes last night and the former 1st Team CEGEP All-Star from Ste. Foy showed he can defend and knock shots down. 5'10" Richard Addai from Montreal Vanier also saw action at both point and off guard. Adding depth up front is 6'7" Simon Mercier, a four man, also from Ste. Foy, who showed he will add defending and rebounding depth to les Rouge et Or off the bench.

At least three other returnees will provide support up front off the bench including 6'8" Maxime Cloutier (4th year - Ste. Foy) and 6'6" Yves-Andre Levasseur (4th Year - Montmorency CEGEP) plus 6'9" French import Kevin Crevant who is coming along to the point where he gave Laval limited minutes off the bench toward the end of last season.

As usual, Laval has a competitive pre-season schedule including a trip to B.C. for 4 games, a trip to Ottawa & Kingston including a game against the Gee-Gees at Outaouais CEGEP in Gatineau and a very strong field at Laval's own tournament including Dalhousie, Western and Calgary. Rouge et Or will also visit University of Maine on November 1st.

Laval's next action after tonight's Towson encounter is a game against Ste. Foy CEGEP, Paiement's former team, on September 11th. Ste. Foy recently named Paiement's assistant for the past 3 seasons, Eric Segal, as their new Head Coach.

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