Yesterday, Twitter was in SHOCK by this outrage about incoming guard Shamorie Ponds and next season, a spark lit by this Insider story from ESPN.
No Shamorie Ponds? That's ridiculous! ESPN hates the Big East #SJUBB https://t.co/eVgnrMdjhI— yelley (@yelbeeez) April 6, 2016
I'm not even an insider. I'm just assuming Ponds isn't on that list and decided to be fake outraged. Lol #sjubb— yelley (@yelbeeez) April 6, 2016
Oh ok, it was only our Friend of the Rumble Yelbeez, and there's no real outrage; Shamorie was on the list, but just barely. The ESPN list, written by Jeff Borzello covers freshmen who will have the biggest impact on the 2017 season.
Not the absolute best for the NBA.
Not the player who will have the best career.
The players who will have the most immediate impact.
Shamorie Ponds, the incoming 6'0" guard for St. John's, is on the list as one of "five more" to watch for, so he got a mention.
Why isn't he in the list of 25, given that he will see a lot of time for a St. John's team that needs creative ballhandlers? Two reasons:
1. Competition. For one, Ponds steps into a team that has three guards who can push him for time - returnees Malik Ellison and Federico Mussini, and returnee Marcus LoVett. Shamorie Ponds may be spectacular, but each of those players has the advantage of a year of college weightlifting, eating and practice under their belt - not to mention a better idea of what the offense and defense is supposed to look like (even if that wasn't always executed well).
A list about "impact" has to take into consideration how much a player is actually going to be able to play through mistakes, the way Mussini, Sima and Ellison did. Next year's team has the (much better) luxury to give guys rest/ time on the bench to observe - critical for teaching.
2. Another impact player. The list only includes true freshmen. Around the country a number of redshirted frosh are set to take the floor for their teams - players who have had a year to prepare physically.
One of those freshmen is Marcus LoVett, a top-100 commit who is a true point guard - which was lacking last season. Around the program, there is excitement about LoVett actually being able to play. His quickness could change the ability of St. John's to penetrate and generate shots (though they still have to make the open shots, which was a problem for last year's squad).
The addition of an influx of talent will hopefully raise St. John's in the Big East standings from "far at the bottom" to "middle of the pack." Vegas oddsmakers seem to believe that the team will be better next season.
But it's on the court results - and the impacts of Shamorie Ponds, Marcus LoVett, and the rising sophomores - that will tell whether that's true or hype.