Opening tip '09-10: No. 7 Laval Rouge et Or

  • Top 100 returnees: G Jean-Francois Beaulieu-Maheux (18th), F Jérôme Turcotte-Routhier (59th), F Etienne Labrecque (63rd)
  • Other key returnees: PG Xavier Baribeau, F-C F.O. Gagnon-Hebert, F-C Maxime Cloutier
  • Newcomers: G J.P. Renaud, G Richard Addai
  • Coach: Jacques Paiement Jr. (first season)
  • Offence and defence: 103, 97 (+6)
  • Last year's results: 13-15 overall, lost to UQAM in conference semifinal, 27th in RPI
  • Looking ahead: They return virtually everything, 95% of minutes, 98% of points, 94% of rebounds and all of their three-pointers off last season's team. They should also be deeper; the double edge with those figures it is indicates how reliant they were on the big four, Baribeau, Beaulieu-Maheux, Labrecque and Turcotte-Routhier. It was a bit of a too-much-too-soon for a group which had got used to having all-everything post player J.P. Morin over the previous few seasons.

    That being said, Laval has had impressive road show in non-conference. They took UBC down to the final seconds on the road, ran with Ottawa for about 3½ quarters and went to overtime at Queen's. They might try to get by at times with a lineup which has no one listed above 6-foot-5, and the fact all of their point guard options are shorter players might be problematic (that's more of a general comment than one on the actual Laval point guards). The lack of interior beef might have been evident when they lost by 24 to Calgary, but then again, a lot of teams look that way against Calgary.

    If you're going by rote, take Laval to win the Q; if you have to have an off-the-board pick, maybe take UQAM.
Rob's explanation of Top 100 players by Player Efficiency Ratings (see last year's PER) and Net Efficiency may be found in the women's preview.
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