The Helena Lamoureux - Jason Hurley partnership is still evolving, in the paraphrased words of the Laurentian Voyageurs' women's basketball head coach. But based on the accolades coming the way of his freshman scorer from Quebec, the tandem is off to a pretty good start.
A native of Laval and Criminologie major at L.U., Lamoureux was named OUA Rookie of the Year, in addition to earning a spot on both the OUA and the U Sport All-Rookie teams over the course of the past few weeks, following a season in which she averaged almost 17 points per game (16.8).
"I am still trying to figure out how to play her, because I really don't know yet how to play her," said Hurley, earlier this week.
Already twenty years old by virtue of spending three years playing CEGEP Division II basketball, Lamoureux was reasonably confident even as she began her career as a Voyageur. "I know I can play basketball, I had some very good coaches in Quebec," she said.
"He (coach Hurley) needed some players that could score, and I could score. During the summer, we did a lot of work to get ready for university."
Lamoureux' journey to Sudbury was helped, in late part, by Keith Pruden, head coach of the Concordia Stingers for twenty years, and assistant coach with the young prospect's CEGEP team in 2018-2019. Pruden also runs "Basketball Recon", a basketball recruitment service out of Quebec.
"I tend to bounce stuff off of Keith, that I am looking for this type of player, or that type of player," said Hurley. "He actually knew that she (Lamoureux) would be quite good, right away. He knows what's going on."
Overcoming both a mid-November injury, as well as the natural transition period to university basketball, Lamoureux really caught fire in the second half, scoring in double digits in nine straight games. With 91 free throws made, the L.U. rookie would trail only Melissa Tatti of Brock in that category (Tatti finished with 94).
"I like to drive to the basket and go to the line for foul shots - that's what I do," said Lamoureux. "When I do it, I don't think about it. I don't know exactly what I do (to attract the fouls), I just do it."
"If you can only drive, most teams will take that away and make you find another way to score," acknowledged Hurley. "But she still found ways to score - and we also ran stuff for her."
Looking ahead, Lamoureux would like to expand the scope of her shooting range, most notably from beyond the arc, after finishing with just ten three point baskets this year. "I can shoot threes," she said. "I don't really like to shoot from there, but I can."
All of which only makes the challenge facing Hurley that much more tricky - how to best utilize his burgeoning star.
"She had to play every position other than at five (center or post), but she is probably most comfortable as a power forward," he stated. "I thought that she could do a lot of different things to help fill the Mackenzie Robinson void, which she sort of did."