Notre Dame Dons Earn Respect

There’s no question Simeon is one of the top teams in the state, if not the country. Some say this Simeon club could be one of best teams to ever suit up in Illinois.

The Wolverines have won two state titles in a row and host a collection of D1 talent rivaled by many D1 colleges. Jabari Parker, Steve Taylor and Kendrick Nunn are among a few of the players who will wear college uniforms in the future.

I saw Simeon play Notre Dame on Sunday at Thornton’s Jumpball Showcase. The Wolverines won by 20, 73-53.

Given the standard Simeon has set in recent years, I told people after the game I was more impressed with Notre Dame, which, by most accounts, easily hurdled its own preseason bar. The Dons didn’t return any starters from last season.

Simeon coach Robert Smith seemed to agree with me.

“It was a little more of a challenge,” said Smith, whose team beat Hillcrest by 18 in the opener. “We had that big lead, but they cut into it. That’s a good team there, and they are going to beat some teams this season.”

Watch out East Suburban Catholic Conference.

Even with the loss of D1 players Quinton Chievous and Rodney Pryor, the Dons are for real. What’s more is most of Tom Les’ regulars aren’t seniors, including Matt Mooney, who proved he’s a player against Simeon. Or how about Jon Johnson? The sophomore stuffed the 6-8 Parker, a probable future pro, at the rim.

I look forward to following the Dons this season.

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