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Draft Express evaluation of Shamorie Ponds

Ponds at the U18 Training Camp

Norman Rose

Shamorie Ponds got a day with some of the best players the United States has to offer in the 18 and under category in the first training camp for the FIBA Americas U18 Championship, which took place from June 14-18.

So let's take a look at what Draft Express had to say about Shamorie Ponds's day or two at the USA U18 Training Camp, last week, in summation:

The good: open floor speed/ craftiness with the ball/ good footwork to get shots off, strong scoring instincts, can shoot make difficult-looking shots, will pass in some situations

The bad: small/ not strong/ unable to score in traffic, not explosive for an NBA point guard, streaky shooter with a low release point, struggles going right, working on decision-making.

Parsing these comments, this is the Shamorie Ponds we have come to know, and these aren't bad things - they're evidence of a player who has a bit to work on, but brings some real , dynamic skills to the Red Storm.

Certainly, another benefit is that unless Ponds really takes off as a point guard at St. John's, he's going to be a four-year player. In other words, Ponds is set up to be the kind of foundational home town star that Chris Mullin's rebuild needs so badly.

And within that evaluation is the excitement of a player who, despite some streaky shooting (which we also evidenced at the Jordan Classic this spring), can break down defenses and get bucksts, a skill lacking from last season’s Red Storm.

Consider that this season, we expect both Ponds and LoVett will have some ability to put defensive players on their heels and reshape defenses, which should open up looks for players like Federico Mussini, Richard Freudenberg and others to knock down open shots.

Can Ponds, LoVett, and the players who are recipients of their passes hit the shots?

That’s a skill development question for the summer and fall that we hope will be worked out in the reported pickup games against local teams Iona and Hofstra.