While Shamorie Ponds is St. John’s’ version of Batman, who would be his Robin on offense?
Of course, the attention around St. John’s this season has been around the stellar play as of late from Shamorie Ponds. Ponds has been the “Batman” of this team all year, but the secondary options or the “Robin” is a role that bounces in between two different players.
Those two players are Marvin Clark II and Justin Simon. While Marcus LoVett was thought to be that kind of player before the season began, the two transfers have found a way to play impactful basketball in their first year in the Big East conference.
If you go by who has scored the most points between Clark II and Simon, it is fairly similar. Clark II has averaged 11.7 points per game while Simon is at 11.6. In fact, only three points separate the two players (315 for Clark II, 312 for Simon) with Simon playing 152 more minutes. Plus, they both shoot over 45 percent from the floor.
For a team that doesn’t get much scoring from its frontcourt, Clark II has brought the ability to be consistent at the free throw line (87.9 percent), from three-point range (42.3 percent), and from the floor (45.3 percent).
In terms of his Big East numbers, Clark II Is averaging 13.4 points per game and is in the top 15 in the conference in three-point percentage (39.4 percent). Last week, he was a huge key to the win against DePaul as he had 24 points and made eight of his 15 shots. The 15 shots are tied for the most attempts he has had in any game this year.
When you look at Clark’s numbers, he doesn’t get involved in the offense in some games due to foul trouble. However, he is efficient and does make the most of his opportunities outside of two games where he made only one field goal (Jan.13 against Villanova and Jan.27 against Butler).
As for Simon, he has been the definition of consistency as of late. In the last three games, he has scored exactly 16 points. While he is not the greatest in terms of his jump shot, he finds a way to attack the basket and make plays on the defensive end (two steals in each of the last three games).
When it comes to defense, Simon is one of the best at frustrating opposing guards. Yes, he hasn’t been the scoring part of what fans expected with a Ponds-LoVett duo. With that being said, St. John’s does win games with their defense and Simon plays a big part in that.
In addition to his consistent scoring and his defense, Simon finds a way to get rebounds from the guard position (7.4 per game). As of today, his 6.6 boards per game in Big East play is tied for seventh in the conference, which is great when you consider the quality of frontcourt players in the league.
It is a tough choice to pick who is Robin because both players contribute in different ways. For me, the answer is Simon because he can help distribute the ball to Ponds and create opportunities at the rim. Once he gets more consistent with his jumper, he can make a big improvement as the game goes on. So, while he may not be the second leading scorer some nights, he can maybe be like Alfred and be a secondary piece to the superhero operation.
As St. John’s gets set for the Big East Tournament, they are hoping that someone can help Ponds in the scoring department as the team tries to take over Gotham City and Madison Square Garden.