It was nice to hear from Jacques Paiement Jr. in the aftermath of Laval’s close loss to UC-Riverside last night – a game which Rouge et Or controlled for 36 minutes, leading by as many as 13 late in the second quarter and 11 early in the fourth despite playing without 4 rotation regulars (6’7″ Joel Muamba, 6’4″ Alain Bernard, 6’0″ Vladimir Thomas and 6’5″ Daniel Mutanda).
Paiement was generally encouraged by his club’s work on the defensive end however a “few bad defensive possessions” late hurt his club as well as some issues offensively: “we stopped sharing the ball. We need to learn to close games!”.
While Laval has not had the results in recent years that the proud program from Quebec City is used to, coach Paiement continues to have the respect of many of the top coaches in U-Sports- a list that includes a certain 13-time Nationals champion coaching out of our Nation’s capital. Paiement is one of the hardest workers in the country and does a wonderful job breaking down teams and preparing his group – expect Laval to turn it around quickly.
Paiement will make his Canadian international coaching debut later this summer, joining Head Coach Kevin Hanson (UBC) and Assistant Dan Vanhooren (Calgary) leading Canada’s FISU Games team in Taipei, Taiwan in late August. Prior to that, Laval will prepare for their next NCAA opponent in just less than one week (next Wednesday night) in Ste. Foy against Towson (NCAA Division 1).