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

Team Rose Shootout.

The Team Rose Shootout is a great event with top match ups. The Mount Carmel facility is excellent. The light in the gym leaves a little to be desired in terms of quantity but the color temperature is better than most.

St. Viator 72, Oswego East 69. I am more impressed with Trey Calvin and Jeremiah Hernandez every time I see them play. These two young Lions hit their shots. I don’t remember either missing a free throw or a lay up when it counted. The Lions are one of the top 3A teams. We may be looking at a Sectional or Supersectional match up between the Lions and the DePaul Prep Rams in 3A.

Uplift drops Br. Rice 71-59 in OT. I was really looking forward to the Markese Jacobs v. Marquiese Kennedy matchup. It did not disappoint. Almost like a DePaul v. Loyola matchup. Both players put there respective teams on their backs in crunch time. It will fun watching them in years to come.

I couldn’t stay for the big game between Bloom and Morgan Park. I understand Bloom won. I saw Bloom last weekend at the Chicago Elite Classic. They are for real. Balanced. Talented. State title contenders.

Morgan Park I have yet to see this year but I think we all know what to expect. They will be there at tournament time. I will get out to see them at least a few times before. Put the Morgan Park v. Whitney Young game on your calendar.

Here are some photos from the games.