The response was nearly unanimous. Bashir Ahmed’s decision to enter his name into the NBA draft was met with a mixture of surprise and sarcasm. His name couldn’t be found on any draft boards. Without that decision, however, Ahmed might not be entering his senior season confident he’s ready to be the player St. John’s expected when it landed the once-heralded junior college recruit. The Bronx native wasn’t planning to make the jump to the NBA and forego his final year of eligibility. He was simply taking advantage of the new rules that allow players to test the waters and work out for teams before making a final decision roughly a month before the draft. Teams told Ahmed he needed to return to school and improve his decision-making, take better shots and raise his shooting percentage. “I wanted to get the experience,” Ahmed said, of testing the draft waters, at St. John’s media day Thursday at Carnesecca Arena. “It just motivated me, and I’m just happy to hear the feedback. Now I know what I have to work on.” The athletically gifted wing took the advice to heart. Ahmed paid close attention to his play last year, when he was third on St. John’s in scoring, at 13.4 points per game, but shot just 39 percent from the field, and averaged 2.3 turnovers per game, compared to just 1.2 assists. Ahmed pored over film, and focused on several things: his at-times poor shot selection, the ball sticking when he got it, his tendency to put his head down and drive into the lane like a charging bull and getting whistled for offensive fouls.
What St. John’s senior learned from testing NBA draft waters
New York Post | Oct 27