Shamorie Ponds was named first team all-Big East selection Sunday, continuing late-season surge by St. John's sophomore guard. (Photo by Rumble in the Garden)
By Jason Schott (@JESchott19)
Shamorie Ponds added another accolade to his haul Sunday afternoon, as the sophomore guard was named to the Big East Conference's first team.
Ponds, who averaged 21.6 points per game in 28 appearances this season, becomes the first St. John’s player since D’Angelo Harrison in 2015 and the 16th in program history to earn a spot on the conference’s top team. In total, a member of the Red Storm has been named to the All-Big East First Team 22 times since 1980.
The Brooklyn native earned this award with an incredible seven-game stretch that began with 31 points in a loss against Xavier on January 30, followed by 33 points in a win against then-No. 4-ranked Duke on February 3, then 26 in another huge win against then-No. 1 Villanova, followed by 44 in a win against Marquette on February 10, which is now the Carnesecca Arena record; then 26 at DePaul in a one-point victory on February 14, followed by 19 in a loss to Marquette on February 21, and a 25-point effort on February 24 in an overtime loss to Seton Hall. All in all, Ponds scored 20 or more points 15 times, including notching 30-plus points six times this season.
Despite missing three games due to injury during Big East play, Ponds is on the verge of breaking the St. John’s sophomore scoring record and entering the top 10 on the Red Storm’s single-season scoring list. Ponds will be attempting to catch his head coach, Chris Mullin, in both those respects, sitting just 23 points away from his mentor for the sophomore scoring record and the 10th highest point total in program history (629).
Known for his ability to score in bunches, Ponds cracked the 30-point plateau six times this season, becoming the first St. John’s player to do so since Marcus Hatten in 2002-03. The Thomas Jefferson High School product also leads the Big East in steals at 2.5 per game, a total that ranks in the top 10 nationally. In addition, Ponds ranks fourth in the conference in assists with 4.9 per game while checking in at 19th in the league with 5.1 rebounds per outing. Ponds’ 85.4 free throw percentage is also sixth best in the conference entering postseason play.
St. John's, who also saw fellow sophomore Justin Simon named to the Big East's weekly honor roll, opens the Big East Tournament Wednesday evening with a 7 p.m. clash against Georgetown from Madison Square Garden.