SC's Elmore on national radar

Chris Dorst
Jon Elmore averaged 10.1 points as a freshman for SC.
The South Charleston boys basketball team may have lost three seniors, including leading scorer Pierria' Henry, but the Black Eagles should still be in pretty good shape.That's because 6-foot-2 rising sophomore Jon Elmore was given a scouts grade of 88 according to recruiting services at ESPN.com and is listed as the No. 32-ranked shooting guard in the country for the class of 2014.Jon and older brother Ot Elmore were the only players other than Henry to average double-digit scoring for SC last winter, with both hovering around 10 points per game.South Charleston coach Vic Herbert says there is way more to Jon Elmore's game than just points."I think Jon is the type of kid that is going to get better and better," Herbert said. "He has good tutelage at home. His dad [Gay Elmore] was a Division I player who understands the game and helps him a bit with what we do at the high school level. To me, he's just a competitor. He's got good feet, he's quick, he's got great hands . . . he's always getting his hands on the ball and causing general havoc. We can put him on the other team's best offensive player."Jon Elmore was just happy to be included in such a list."I thought it was great news and a great honor," he said. "There's only a certain amount of people that make that list. It was kind of surprising because I hadn't been ranked before."With the departure of Henry, Moe Makhene and A.J. Dillard, both Elmores will be expected to carry much larger burdens for SC this season, something that Herbert said Jon is ready to do."I think he's ready for that big-time increase," Herbert said. "I was real happy with last year because we started two sophomores in Trevond [Reese] and Rashaud [Kincaid] and a freshman in Jon, so I'd venture to say we were as young if not younger than anybody that got to the state tournament.
"We had three guys in the starting lineup that didn't have driver's licenses yet. Jon's role is going to increase and we'll need him to get more points, steals, rebounds and assists. All of his numbers have got to go up, and they will. I think he's going to have a special season this year."Elmore said he has already started thinking about the next phase of his playing career, attending an invitational camp at West Virginia University a few weeks ago attended by Mountaineer coaches Bob Huggins, Larry Harrison and Billy Hahn. While Elmore said he hadn't been offered or heavily recruited, he had been sent several questionnaires and letters.Herbert believes Elmore would be a terrific Division I player."To top it all off, he's a great student," Herbert said. "He's somebody that one day, as long as he keeps working at his game, is going to be a real good student-athlete and I believe that could be at a higher-level D-I school, depending on how he develops."For the Black Eagles, that development needs to start this season."I think scoring will increase for me and my brother," Elmore said. "We're the two returning leading scorers and I think that will jump up a little bit."
"He's got good basketball sense, he understands the game, and he doesn't turn it over a lot," Herbert said. "As he gets older during his high school time, he'll become a coach on the floor, kind of like Pierria' Henry was. The sky is the limit for this kid."Reach Ryan Pritt at 304-348-1749 or jcantrellfan1@aol.com
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