Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
NEW YORK — Nearly 30 NBA scouts were credentialed for the Legends Classic on Monday night, and boy did they see Shamorie Ponds put on a show.
Ponds, who tested the NBA draft waters last spring before opting to return to campus for his junior season, went off for a game-best 32 points with 5 assists and 2 rebounds as St. John’s won an entertaining 82-79 affair over Cal in the Legends Classic. Ponds and the Johnnies will play VCU (4-0) for the title on Tuesday night at Barclays Center after the Rams beat Temple, 57-51.
“He can really score from all three levels and is comfortable using both hands to handle and finish [which] helps with the diversity in his game,” one NBA scout in attendance said “He’s really fun to watch when he’s cooking like that.”
NBA legend Julius Erving, former Cal and NBA star Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Knicks guard Allonzo Trier were among those on hand to watch Ponds’ performance.
With St. John’s trailing 72-71, Ponds scored nine straight St. John’s points — including this 3-pointer shown below — to give the Johnnies an 80-76 lead. Marvin Clark II hit two foul shots in the final seconds for his team’s last points.