Coming off back-to-back RSEQ championship game appearances in his first two seasons since taking over the Citadins program, Head Coach Nate Philippe continues to remodel his roster with a view of moving into the national Top 10 discussion. This past season’s title game appearance was widely recognized as a strong coaching job given that some, including this site, had picked UQAM to finish dead last in the “Q” after Philippe’s program unexpected had to adjust to losing reigning RSEQ Player-of-the-Year Kewyn Blain in late August, just before the start of the season. But Philippe was still able to lead Citadins to an 8-8 regular season finish before a second consecutive semi-final victory over Concordia to get to the Finals, before losing to McGill.
We are planning more comprehensive updates on roster churn and off season needs of all U Sports programs in the coming days however as new recruiting announcements come out we will try to report in a timely manner. To that end, UQAM has added to their recruiting class – recall in late January coach Philippe announced the signing of 6’1″ guard Karim Sabban from Vanier College who averaged 4.2 ppg in 12 mpg this past season for the 10-4 Cheetahs. Philippe followed up that signing with 6’9″ Antoine Labelle Lacoste from Champlain-St. Lambert. The center, who averaged 6.3 ppg/7.1 rpg in 26 mpg for 1-13 Cavaliers this past season, helps fill a void up front for UQAM, which lost 7’0″ Yassin Debache and 6’9″ Rudy Caufriez to graduation after this past season. Most CIS/U Sports centers take time to develop and Debache especially, after a couple of years of grooming, turned into a solid rim-protecting defender and effective, complementary low-post scorer. Philippe plans to mould Labelle Lacoste into a similar producer given his good hands and footwork.
Philippe also has a pair of potentially impact red-shirts who practiced with the team all of this season with plans to add to his rotation for 2017-18 led by 6’0″ point guard Alexandre Compres, who is described as a lock-down defender and a crafty, tough floor general. Compres last played at Montmorency in 2013-14 when he averaged 7.7 ppg in 35 mpg. As well, 6’5″ Christopher Adu, another Montmorency product returns to fortify the wing forward spot. Adu averaged 5.4 points, 4.1 rebounds in 18 mpg in 2014-15. Both provide a veteran presence and depth. Expect UQAM to add to their class in the coming weeks.