Analyzing Shamorie Ponds

May 21, 2018

By Alan Lu

Before the NBA Draft Combine took place, I had set out to watch St. John’s 6-1 sophomore point guard Shamorie Ponds play against Duke in anticipation that he would end up getting an invite to that event.  However, the NBA had not invited him, so I had decided to delay my game write-up and analysis of his skills in this contest until after the combine was over.

Still, I was intrigued about the possibility of Ponds potentially being drafted in the NBA, as he could be a second round pick if he chooses to keep his name in this year.  With thanks to YouTube via College Sports, I was able to see him play against Duke in a game that was played on February 3rd.  Here are my thoughts on how he fared that day, as well as how his skills may translate to the NBA.

Shamorie Ponds is an athletic, skilled combo guard that can make shots in a variety of ways, and he can effectively get the ball to his teammates to set up scoring chances for them.  He is also active as a rebounder and as a help defender, as he could be a score-first point guard that can generate quick offense to help teams in games.

He is a very good shooter that can knock down a wide array of jumpers to space the floor for his team.  He can make quick spot-up threes off the catch, and he can make long-range jumpers from well beyond the arc due to possessing a lot of range on his shot.  Ponds also managed to dribble off of a screen to make a quick pull-up three.  Late in this contest, he managed to run off of a screen, and quickly ran back to the ball on a misdirection play, as he was able to make a contested deep three.  In addition, Ponds can also knock down pull-up jumpers from the mid-range area.

He also showed a solid ability to score on strong drives to the basket.  Ponds can finish plays with either hand, and he can use quick dribble moves to get past his opponents.  He also possesses a good first step and he changes speeds well, and he also can score on floaters and touch shots off the glass.  He also showed a knack for drawing fouls upon the opposition.  But sometimes, Ponds would play too fast, as he would occasionally end up missing shots in traffic, and he also had some misses on drives in transition.

Also, he displayed decent playmaking skills.  Ponds can be a solid distributor when he plays under control, and he can find teammates on the move to set up scores.  He can get the ball to shooters to set up scoring chances, and he also drove right off of a screen to throw a lob pass to a roll man to set up an alley-oop dunk another time.  But sometimes, he can dribble around for too long, which can cause the offense to stagnate.   He also does not always throw accurate or timely passes which can lead to turnovers.  In addition, sometimes he can commit ball-handling turnovers due to carelessness.

Plus, he also did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  Ponds would run in to get boards on both ends of the floor, and he possesses good athleticism, motor, and instincts to do so.  He also would get defensive boards off of tap outs, and he would usually push the ball up the court afterwards to create scoring opportunities for his team.

Adding to that, Ponds played decent defense.  He did a very good job of getting steals, as he would get his hands on passes, and he also can poke balls away from opponents.  He also can heap on loose balls to help his team get additional steals, and he also managed to alter a shot to a force a miss early in this match.  Ponds will actively play passing lanes, as he can help his team get a plethora of steals and deflections.

But sometimes, Ponds can tend to over-rotate, as he may wander around in attempt to get steals, other times he may unnecessarily double off his man, as this can lead him to allow a series of three-point scores due to being out of position.  He may give up a bit too much space to shooters on occasion.  Other times he had trouble guarding quicker players off the dribble or cutting off penetration, as he would be tasked to guard the speedy Trevon Duval on occasion.  As a result, he would end up committing fouls and allowing scores.

In general, Shamorie Ponds is a talented combo guard that can put up points in a hurry, as he can shoot and score the basketball.  His three-point shot had tapered off significantly this season, but he had shown improved playmaking skills.  As he did not get invited to the 2018 NBA Draft Combine, his chances to be selected by an NBA team this year may be drastically reduced.  But if he does stay in the draft, he could be a good find for an NBA team, as he could end up developing into a solid role player in the mold of a Patty Mills type in this league.

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