St. John’s freshman Shamorie Ponds on Monday was named the Big East Freshman of the Week for the third time in the last month, raising the possibility that he could become the third Red Storm player in the last six years to win Big East Freshman of the Year honors.
Moe Harkless (Trail Blazers) won the award in 2012 and JaKarr Sampson (Iowa Energy) captured it in 2013.
Only one other rookie in the league, Justin Patton of Creighton, has claimed Big East Freshman of the Week honors on multiple occasions this season (Nov. 28 and Dec. 5).
Ponds, a rookie out of Brooklyn Thomas Jefferson High School, became the first Big East rookie this season to claim the league’s freshman of the week honors three times following a stretch that saw he and Bashir Ahmed lead the Red Storm to victories over No.13 Butler at Carnesecca Arena and DePaul on the road. The win over the Bulldogs marked the first triumph for the Red Storm on campus against a ranked opponent since 1998 and the first win overall against a Top 25 opponent since a victory over Doug McDermott and Creighton on Feb. 9, 2014.
Overall, the Red Storm has won three straight and six of its last eight.
Facing off against Butler on Thursday night, Ponds tied a career-high with 26 points on 9-of-15 shooting, willing the Red Storm to its best victory on campus in terms of national rankings since sophomore Chris Mullin scored 19 points to help the No. 9 Redmen down No. 13 Syracuse on Feb. 23, 1983. Ponds scored 19 of his 26 in the second half, including a 6-for-6 effort from the charity stripe. Four of those free-throw conversions came in the final 10 seconds of the game to help keep the Bulldogs at bay.
Three days later in The Windy City, Ponds helped the Red Storm improve to 3-1 on the road this year and double its Big East win total from last season with a 79-73 victory over DePaul. The Brooklyn native, one of four Johnnies in double figures, finished second on the team with 15 points and registered four steals in a game for the fifth time this season. Ponds played a critical role in a second-half run that saw the Johnnies gain the lead for the first time in the period, scoring five points on a 7-0 streak to put the Red Storm ahead, 53-51, with 11:32 to play in the contest.
The Red Storm will return to action on Wednesday night, playing host to the No. 10 Creighton Bluejays at 8:30 p.m. inside Carnesecca Arena
Release/Photo: St. John’s