School: St. John’s
Height/Weight: 6’1″, 175 lbs.
The Brooklyn native is a crafty scorer with exceptional speed. His scoring when slashing to the rim after gathering coupled with his ball handling is deadly. He has a soft touch at the rim, easing the ball over the rim and scoring at will when he is in a rhythm. A scorer when hot, he has the chance to steal the show and his 3 year stint with the Red Storm has proven that.
Jumping from his sophomore to junior year, his improvement in the playmaking aspect of his game was another way Ponds was able to show he can adapt and become a better playmaking guard at the next level. With his size, that will be a very important trait he must improve even more on to to make sure he is able to see consistent minutes.
In his freshman year for St. John’s, he averaged 3.5 assists. His junior year he averaged 5.5 assists. His point per game average decreased by two points and him assisting the ball increased by two. His passing was a major focal point during the summer.
Another plus that Ponds does not get enough credit for is his attentiveness in the passing lanes.
He averaged 2.6 steals per game in his junior campaign. His size is troublesome, however when a smaller player tries to make it in the association he is able to find ways to use his size to his advantage, to balance out the disadvantages. He displayed how much of a pest he could be against VCU late in November when he racked up seven steals.
Ponds had five games in his junior season with more than seven rebounds. Given his 6’1″ frame, his nose for the ball off the glass makes his ability to grab boards above average for his size. Some guys are just hoopers and they have the outright ability to find an array of ways to become a solid professional.
Ponds must improve on the offensive end outside of scoring, because he can often become a ball stopper. Ponds has to become more creative with carving up the defense to distribute and not only score so he can shift the defense and instill confidence in his teammates. He must become an even better playmaker to find his spot in the league this summer if he expects to find a team to want his services.
He averaged only two turnovers a game after decreasing from 2.8 turnovers his sophomore season, which is his career high. He is a quick player, although he sometimes finds a way to move faster than he thinks and can occasionally get caught in the air or a corner and quickly finds himself at a disadvantage and can become a careless player. He must become a smarter player on the offensive end to become a more complete player.
Ponds is undersized defensively and while he has solid potential in passing lanes, there are more than a few lapses on the defensive end. His defensive and offensive IQ must both improve. He’s a hooper, but he has to be a hooper who makes the right decisions on the court.
I see Shamorie Ponds as a solid second round pick with an elite scoring ability and a nose for the ball in the passing lanes and off the glass. While he has elite creation skills for a player of his size, he must become a better overall defender and playmaker. Predictably he is a mid second round pick in a short handed point guard class.