George Pohly, The Macomb Daily
Before the 2017-18 basketball season started, I asked New Haven coach Tedaro France II for a recruiting update on Romeo Weems.
It was then that France said Weems had during the offseason visited a few schools, DePaul included.
“He really liked DePaul,” France said.
On Monday, with Weems’ recruiting decision 24 hours away, I had a conversation with a fellow who has his ear to the ground regarding all things New Haven sports.
We weighed Weems’ five finalists — DePaul, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Oregon — against what we had observed and heard over the past year, and we arrived at a consensus guess that DePaul would be the one.
On Tuesday, Weems made it official when the senior-to-be donned a Blue Demons hat and took off a jacket to reveal the DePaul t-shirt that he wore underneath.
There was applause in the New Haven gymnasium.
There was criticism elsewhere, especially on social media.
Please, people, stop it. The sky isn’t falling in East Lansing or Ann Arbor, and Weems didn’t make a half-baked call about the next phase of his career.
His decision was calculated and informed.
Jeff Corrion, The DZone.com
New Haven's Romeo Weems
committed to the University of DePaul at 4 pm on Tuesday afternoon at New Haven High School during a ceremony.
The 6'7 Weems is regarded as one of the best college prospects in the country as he has been invited to participate in numerous events with the US National Team. Weems has a ton of versatility and has always improved his skill set.
Weems led New Haven to a 52 game winning streak that lasted from 2017 through 2018 and included a State Championship in 2017.
Weems decision to commit to DePaul shocked many people who didn't see it coming and Romeo and his mother insisted very people knew his decision until the ceremony.
Weems had a Top 5 that was: Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon, and DePaul.
Jared Purcell, Mlive.com
NEW HAVEN, Mich. -- Romeo Weems, the top basketball recruit in the state's 2019 class, has made his decision. He will be attending DePaul.
"It was a tough decision," Weems said shortly after putting on a blue DePaul hat. "I know everyone is going to ask, 'why DePaul?' and everything. But why not DePaul? They asked when I came to New Haven, 'why New Haven?' I've always been different."
Announcing his commitment in a ceremony at New Haven High School on Tuesday afternoon, the 6-7 power forward picked DePaul over Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State and Oregon, all of which were part of his top five teams. He is rated as a four-star recruit by the 247Sports Composite and is ranked as the No. 7 power forward and 37th player overall in the 2019 class.
Despite Michigan State being rumored as a favorite throughout his recruiting process, Weems said he "never really had a favorite college" during his recruitment. Weems' mother said that they did not notify any of the schools of his decision prior to the announcement.
Citing that he based his choice off of pro potential, Weems was questioned on that statement considering that DePaul hasn't had draft selections since Wilson Chandler and Sammy Mejia were drafted in 2007.
"I've got a good relationship with the coaches," Weems said, citing DePaul assistant coach Tim Anderson playing a big role in his recruitment.
Expected to be a front runner for Mr. Basketball next season as a senior, Weems averaged 23.5, points 10.8 rebounds, 5.3 assist, 4.8 steals and 2 blocks per game for New Haven this last winter as a junior. Weems also scored 590 points in 25 games taking him to 1,497 total career points, bringing him closer to the New Haven school record of 1,840. He also worked on his shooting from the perimeter this winter, shooting 51-for-126 (40 percent) from 3-point range.
In the region championship victory over Detroit Country Day, Weems collected a quadruple-double with 21 points, 16 rebounds, 12 assists and 10 steals. He also had 7 blocks to finish just shy of a quintuple-double.
George Pohly, The Macomb Daily
Romeo Weems hopes to have at DePaul the kind of impact he made at New Haven.
Spurning three Big Ten programs that were among his five finalists, the 6-foot-7 junior wing said Tuesday he will play college basketball at DePaul, a Chicago program with a new arena and a coach in his second stint with the Blue Demons.
Weems went to New Haven as a ninth-grade school of choice enrollee, joining a basketball program that had had a lot of success but never reached the semifinals of the state tournament.
As a sophomore, Weems helped the Rockets win their first state crown, and last season he led the Macomb Area Conference school back to the semifinals, where New Haven lost to Grand Rapids Catholic Central.
If Weems, whose five finalists included Pac-12 member Oregon, made a decision that surprised others, it was one that he said was carefully thought out and presents opportunities for him to lift a college program while enhancing his resume for the NBA.
“When I came to New Haven, people said, ‘Why New Haven?’” Weems, 16, said. “So now people might say, ‘Why DePaul?’ It’s a program that’s on the rise.”
Weems said DePaul coaches, including head coach Dave Leitao, were different from others because they critiqued his play rather than always praising him after seeing New Haven play.
“That was important to me,” he said.
Weems, a veteran of USA Basketball and elite AAU play, plans to become part of the foundation at DePaul, which went 11-20 last season for its 11th consecutive losing campaign.
Eric Bossi • BasketballRecruiting.Rivals.com
For the longest time, Romeo Weems looked to be a lock to pick a big-time program close to home. Until he didn't. Tuesday afternoon, the 6-foot-6 wing from New Haven (Mich.) High, who ranks No. 33 in the class of 2019, surprised everybody by picking DePaul over Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State and Oregon.
NATIONAL RANK 30
STATE RANK 1
6'7" | 190 LBS | SF
NEW HAVEN, MI
CLASS OF 2019
The Spartans loss is a major come up for Dave Leitao and the rest of the Blue Demons staff.
Weems is a high-level athlete and competitor and the type of player who can help to turn DePaul around - and his commitment couldn't come at a better time. During the first three years of Leitao's second stint at DePaul, they've only managed 29 wins against 65 losses, and the pressure from the fan base to turn things around is mounting.
Capable of playing the two, three and four, Weems projects as an instant impact player in Chicago and he's going to get pegged as a potential All-Big East guy who could someday contend for player of the year honors in the conference if he reaches his full potential. He defends, he rebounds and - most of all - he competes on every possession, and that's what's most needed right now at DePaul.
Congrats to Alex Palajac on signing his National Letter of Intent to play basketball and further his academic career at Pfeiffer University
2015 Rocket Alum dynamic 6-5 wing Dmonta Harris completed his Junior college career at Mineral Area College and is looking to move on to the next level
D1 and D2 COACHES STILL AVAILABLE
(Now has a working phone number)
Dmonta Harris - 6'5 Wing
10.2 PPG 5.6 RPG 62% FG / 51% 3pt Game High of 38pts @ Kankakee
CONTACT US IMMEDIATELY
New Haven Basketball