(Shamorie Ponds – @StJohnsBball)
St. John’s guards Shamorie Ponds and Justin Simon have been homored by the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association for their superb play during the 2017-18 campaign, which included wins over Duke and eventual national champion Villanova.
Ponds was named to the All-Met First Team for the second straight season, and Simon was named to the All-Met Second Team after his first season .
It was a record-setting season for Ponds, as he set the St. John’s sophomore scoring record and finished eighth on the program’s single-season scoring list with 647 points.
Ponds was the Big East’s leading scorer at 21.6 points per game this season, and also finished top-five in the conference in steals and assists, averaging 2.3 and 4.7 per contest, respectively.
A First Team All-Big East selection, Ponds led the Johnnies in scoring in 21 of his 30 appearances in 2017-18, including a Carnesecca Arena/Alumni Hall record 44 points in a win over Marquette on Feb. 10. The 6-foot-1 guard from Brooklyn recorded double-figures 27 times with 16 20-point efforts and six 30-point outbursts.
Ponds was named the Big East’s player of the week twice and the national player of the week on a pair of occasions. He garnered the accolades after helping St. John’s earn back-to-back wins over top-five opponents for the first time in program history. The first of those came against No. 4/5 Duke at Madison Square Garden, where he went off for 33 points. Three days later in Philadelphia against No. 1/1 Villanova, Ponds erupted for 26 points and led the Red Storm to its first win over a top-ranked team since 1985.
One of three St. John’s players to start all 33 games, Simon averaged 12.2 points and a team-high 7.1 rebounds per contest in 2017-18. The 6-foot-5 guard also led the Big East in steals with 2.5 per game and ranked second in the conference in assists with 5.1 per contest. Simon was the only player in the Big East to rank in the top five in the conference in rebounds, assists and steals last season.
Simon reached double-figures 20 times and posted a team-best nine double-doubles. A native of Temecula, Calif., Simon had his highest scoring performance of the year at Xavier, scoring 28 points on 12-of-16 shooting. Simon delivered another marquee performance against Butler that lifted St. John’s to a double-overtime victory at Carnesecca Arena on Feb. 28. Playing all 50 minutes, Simon recorded a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds, while burying clutch shots to force overtime and in the extra session.
Simon finished with 82 steals, the fifth-most for a single season in program history, and 167 assists, just six shy of 10th place on the single season chart.
Ponds and Simon will be presented with their awards on Wednesday at the 85th Annual NIT/MBWA All-Met Haggerty Awards Dinner at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown, N.Y.