While Shamorie Ponds declared for the NBA Draft on Saturday, the St. John’s Red Storm don’t have to worry yet because he hasn’t hired an agent.
In news that should come to no surprise to anyone associated with the St. John’s Red Storm, their best player, point guard Shamorie Ponds, announced on his Instagram on Saturday that he is declaring for the NBA Draft.
He will not hire an agent.
Been dreaming about this day my whole life.. I Am Declaring For 2018 NBA Draft 🙏🏾🙏🏾❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/gTx3Tuk1RY
— Shamorie Ponds (@ShamorieP) March 24, 2018
As a kid growing up my dream was to play in the NBA. I would like to thank the St John's University coaching staff for putting me in a position to succeed, and achieve my dream goal. As me & my family sat down & talked about my future, we decided that it would be best for me to Declare for the NBA Draft & not hire an agent. My plan is to get as much NBA experience and knowledge as possible. In addition, I do not want close any doors. I'll like to keep all my options open. Also, to get some proper evaluations on my game would be helpful to me. To conclude, I believe this was a smart decision because not only you can get a chance to experience the NBA, but you can also return back to college. I am thankful for everybody that helped grow as a person and a player over the past year. Most importantly the man above because with out him, none of this would of been possible. Wish me luck on my journey🙏🏼 #Blessings #DraftDreams #ThePondsWay 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼 #DreamsDoComeTru
Ponds had a couple of injuries during his sophomore season with the Red Storm, but he still managed to be a part of the All-Big East first team. He averaged 21.6 points, five rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 2.3 steals per game.
Back in early February, Ponds received some national attention for the great games he was having against strong competition such as Xavier, Duke, Villanova, and Marquette. In a stretch of five games from January 30 to February 14, he scored at least 26 points in each game and had 44 points against Marquette on February 11, which is now a Carnesecca Arena record.
This is a great decision by Ponds because it allows him to see where his draft stock is currently, go through the process, and get evaluations from the NBA. If you look at the mock draft on NBADraft.net, he is not projected to be drafted this year, so there is always a chance he decides to come back for his junior season. But, that is one person’s opinion.
Back in February, we took a closer look at Ponds’ chances in the NBA. He had a lot of pressure on him this season as St. John’s didn’t have much depth on the roster after the Marcus LoVett injury, which made him play the whole game on eight different occasions this year. That does include playing 49 of 50 minutes in a double-overtime game against Georgetown on Jan. 20.
While Ponds’ field goal percentage did not take a drastic dip from 2016-17 (43.9 to 42 percent) and he had 40 more assists, the main problem Ponds had this year was his inconsistent three-point shooting. For the year, he shot 25.3 percent from beyond the arc, which was about a 12 percent drop from the year before (37.5).
Now, if Ponds decides to return to Queens for his junior season, St. John’s has the chance to have a good season in 2018-19 with most of their team expected to come back outside of Bashir Ahmed (graduation) and possibly Tariq Owens (exploring transfer options). Plus, he has the chance to further enhance his legacy within the program if he can help lead the Red Storm back to the NCAA Tournament.
However, he has to make the decision that is best for him and his family going forward. While I would expect him to come back to school and be one of the best guards in the country, there is always a chance he decides to go professional a year earlier than expected.