Half Over and Plenty Left to Do for DePaul Prep Rams

The season is half over. 29 regular season games with 14 in books. The DePaul Prep Rams record stands at 11 wins, 3 losses and 5-0 in the Chicago Catholic League. The Rams are ranked #12 in the Sun-Times Super 25 and #15 in the Chicago Tribune top 20.

The Rams have wins over #23 Providence St. Mel and #13 Leo. The three loses have been to Benet Academy, (12-3, 4A, currently ranked #16), Marian Catholic (14-1, 4A, #4) and Oswego East, (11-2, 4A, #17) by a total of nine points. So basically, the Rams have a couple good wins and three “good” losses.

It has been a long time since a DePaul Prep or Gordon Tech team has been this good. The Rams last won the Catholic League in 2000. The 11-3 mark is the best in the tenure of Coach Tom Kleinschmidt.

The first part of the year made believers out of those that thought the Rams might not be very good given the loss to North Chicago in last year’s sectional final. The Rams made a believer out of me early when the just appeared to play angry. Serious as a heart attack. Ask Notre Dame and Lane Tech. Those games impressed me. The Rams put those good teams away. Providence St. Mel came into the Tom Winiecki Gym hot and with a lot of hype. The Knights left soundly defeated.

The Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic, while disappointing for the Rams, was not a failure. They lost a close game to a very, very good Marian Catholic team. I have seen a lot of good teams this year: Evanston, St. Viator, Bloomington, Morgan Park, Curie, Uplift and Bloom. Marian Catholic looked just as good as any of those teams. As for losing to Oswego East in a double overtime 3rd place game, that means nothing. Who cares about a third-place game? Not me.

Still, the season is half over. It’s too early to be a good season. There is a great deal of work left to do and many very good teams to overcome.

The best teams left on the regular season schedule are #5 Morgan Park, #21 St. Laurence, #22 New Trier, and then CCL rivals Brother Rice, Fenwick, Loyola and St. Rita. The best is yet to come, a preview game against Morgan Park, a trip to Quincy, a fun one in a big shootout against New Trier and then the Catholic League games. Win the Catholic League. That’s what I want to see. Win the Catholic League.

After that, we’ll just have to see what happens.

Team Rose Shootout--Sunday Edition

I saw three really good games on Sunday (December 9, 2018). It was the first time I saw Leo this year. They looked really talented if a little undisciplined. The Lions came back and beat Bloomington. Bloomington is talented by not closers.

Kenwood v. Hillcrest was next. Those were two big, strong and talented teams. It was great to see them. It gave a some great perspective on the good teams out here.

The third game I saw was Orr v. Oak Park-River Forest. It was my first time seeing Orr this year. It is not the same Orr team as it has been for the last few years, but still very talented—and entertaining. The same Lou Adams. Lou has to be my favorite coach to photograph. I have talked to him a few times over the years. He is a very nice man.

Oak Park is good. They caught Orr in the last to minutes and then quickly closed the deal. Wasn’t even close at the end. I was impressed. It was a bit of a sloppy ending. Technical fouls, officiating screw-ups, pissed off coaches. Nevertheless, it was very entertaining.

I experimented with the settings on my camera. I changed around the auto-focus settings to see what works best for basketball. I moved the ISO around. The photos seem quite grainy to me but look okay on the webpages.

These are not my best photos. Not sure why. I have to keep working at it.