St. John's junior Ponds says he'll enter NBA draft

St. John's guard Shamorie Ponds will enter this year's NBA draft, he wrote on Instagram on Thursday night.

Ponds, a junior, led the Red Storm with 19.7 points and 5.1 assists. He led the Big East with 2.6 steals per game and a 2.6 assist-to-turnover ratio, and he was named to the all-conference first team.

Ponds was the No. 46 pick in ESPN.com's latest mock draft.

"Playing for St. John's has been nothing less than amazing for me," Ponds wrote in his post. "To RedStorm Nation, I thank y'all each & every night for giving me the confidence to be myself and accept me for who I am thru my highs & lows. To my brothers, we been thru hell & back but this season was a success even though we ain't get the outcome we wanted. I appreciate my dawgs for picking me up when I was down, and challenging me each and every night to be the best me. GANG 4Eva. To the coaching staff, all 3 years y'all brung out something new in me, I've mature over the years, y'all helped me become a better person on and off the court. I thank y'all for that.

"With that being said, coming to St John's was one of the best decisions of my life. After speaking it over with my loved ones, I want to announce that I WILL BE ENTERING THE 2019 NBA DRAFT & hiring an agent. #NWNBForever & the Journey continues..."

Ponds scored 25 points in the Red Storm's loss to Arizona State in the First Four of the NCAA tournament.

St. John's coach Chris Mullin said after the game he would not try to convince Ponds to stay for his senior year.

"We fully support Shamorie's decision to pursue his professional goals," Mullin said in a school statement released on Friday. "Shamorie enjoyed one of the greatest careers in the history of our basketball program. It has been a true honor to coach him for the past three years and to watch him develop as a player and a person. We wish Shamorie nothing but the best as he chases his dreams."