George Washington's Jon Elmore threw a nice birthday party this weekend.On Friday, he turned 18 years old and notched a 79-65 win over St. Albans, a game in which he poured in 29 points. On Saturday, he put the icing on his cake with 26 points as GW and cruised to a 73-54 victory over Ashland Paul Blazer (Ky.)."It's been a great 24 hours," Elmore said. "It feels good to get the win. Our team is just getting better and better. I think the sky is the limit for us. I have only been here for a couple of weeks, but we definitely starting to mesh together and get our chemistry built up. You can definitely tell when are getting better."On a weekend where Elmore is receiving presents, GW coach Rick Greene is thankful for the present that he received when the Division I recruit enrolled in GW after spending a year at the Christ School, an all-boys prep school in Arden, N.C.
"He [Elmore] brings exactly what we needed," Greene said. "He would be a good player for anybody and help any team. We needed an experienced, ball-handling point guard. He is obviously one of the best in the state if not the best. He's been just great. He's a good teammate and very coachable. We are very fortunate and blessed to have him."Elmore also finished with nine rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks for the Patriots (3-1).
After the Patriots took an early 5-1 lead on a Dominik King 3-pointer and a Cameron Hoston layup, Elmore made three consecutive 3s from college range to push the lead to 14-1. The Tomcats (4-2) never recovered."John hit those and everyone relaxes a little bit," Greene said. "I think they gave us all confidence even coaching. It's like 'OK, we are off to a good start.' Ashland is very good. I think he [Elmore] just got us all calmed down and excited. They it got contagious."And contagious it was as Chris Kay joined the 3-point party, inviting King along with him. Kay finished with 12 points connecting on 3-of-6 from three pointers, while King finished with 15 points connecting on 3-of-4 three pointers.All told, the Patriots sank 12-of-24 from 3-point range. They held a commanding 45-21 lead at the half.While Greene saw his team take a big step Saturday night, he admits they are far from a finished product."I think it [progess] will be small steps," Greene said. "We have Anthony [Dean] (14 points and nine rebounds) who is doing really well as a freshman. We also have some sophomores and juniors. So, it's a lot of meshing. Every game we play a little better. But, I don't think it will be a leap- and bound-type team. We are just going to progressively get better and hopefully become a good basketball team in March."Nick Miller led Ashland with 13 points and 7 rebounds, while Tyler Stewart and Steven Friley chipped in with 11 points apiece.