Men’s Basketball News

The Laval Rouge et Or concluded an historical journey in historical fashion Sunday night, defeating the Queen’s Gaels 77-71 to capture its first gold medal in the program’s history in the final of the 2024 GreenShield U SPORTS Final 8 Men’s Basketball Championship, presented by Michelob Ultra Sunday night in front of an ecstatic home crowd at the Laval University PEPS in Quebec City.

Qualified as the tournament’s hosts, the Rouge et Or consecutively took care of the Victoria Vikes (first seed), the Dalhousie Tigers (fourth seed) and the Queen’s Gaels (second seed).

With the win the Rouge et Or becomes the first French-language university and only the third RSEQ team to capture the national banner.

Back to the game. Energized by a very engaged crowd of 3,200 fans, the Rouge et Or quickly set the tone to the title match with a 16-points run to transform an 8-5 deficit into a 21-8 lead. The OUA champions still haven’t said their last word. Methodically, the Gaels climbed back into contention and jumped seven points ahead with 17 minutes to go in the game.

As they typically did since the beginning of that tournament, the Rouge et Or did not throw the towel. Steeve Joseph and Ismaël Diouf, who was the player of the game, enabled the local favourites to come from behind and write their own chapter of Canadian university basketball history.

Diouf concluded the final with outstanding 26 points, 12 rebounds, four blocks and two steals in 37 minutes of play. Joseph added 24 points and six assists.

For the Gaels, the U SPORTS Defensive Player of the Year Luka Syllas (23) was the only Gaels scoring over 20 points. Playing their first national final in program history, the Gaels will return to Kingston with a silver medal.

Tournament MVP : Ismaël Diouf (Laval)

Players of the Game: Ismaël Diouf (Laval) and Cole Syllas (Queen’s)

2024 U SPORTS Men’s Basketball Final 8 All-Star Team:
Shawn Maranan (Winnipeg)
Diego Maffia (Victoria)
Malcolm Christie (Dalhousie)
Cole Syllas (Queen’s)
Ismaël Diouf (Laval)