Elmore leans on family to snap 3-point shooting slump
By Chuck McGill
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – When the 3s stopped falling for Jon Elmore, he leaned on a different trifecta: Mom, Dad and brother.
Elmore, in the top 10 in Marshall men’s basketball history in 3-pointers made, set a season high with six 3s in Thursday night’s home win against Florida International.
He attempted a career-high 14 shots from beyond the arc, proof the 6-foot-3 junior from Charleston, West Virginia, is no longer hesitant to hoist the ball from long range.
“I think he’s got it back,” Marshall coach Dan D’Antoni said of his leading scorer’s shooting touch.
Elmore made 12 of 48 from 3-point range in the Herd’s first eight Conference USA games, a 25-percent clip. In the past three games: 15 for 34, 44.1 percent.
The shooter’s swagger returned in the second half against FIU, when Elmore connected on a trio of 3s in a span of two minutes and 53 seconds. He added two more to finish the half 5 of 9 from 3-point range.
After he squared up and drained his sixth 3, Elmore confidently walked to midcourt and held three fingers in the air.
“I’ve been down, I’ve been up, I’ve been frustrated, I’ve been confident,” Elmore said. “I’ve went through a lot of emotions.”
Elmore is No. 11 on Marshall’s all-time scoring list with 1,599 points and No. 7 in career 3-pointers with 194 heading into Saturday night’s home game against Florida Atlantic (10-14, 4-8 C-USA). When Saturday’s game tips off at 7 p.m., he’ll have a renewed confidence in his perimeter game.
So, how did Elmore survive the 1-for-8 and 0-for-6 nights from long range? His coaches helped, of course. His teammates, Elmore said, insisted on him continuing to shoot until he found his stroke.
“Honestly, my family deserves a lot of credit,” Elmore said.
“My mom, she was awesome. She was telling me the next one was going to fall; she believed I was going to make the next one. My dad was driving back and forth from Charleston to Huntington late at night, going home at 11 or 12 o’clock at night after coming in to shoot with me.
“My brother, on that last road trip, we were at UTSA and he spent 45 minutes the night before the game and then 40 minutes of game day, rebounding for me, critiquing everything I was doing and boosting my confidence. I have to give a shout out to Ot; he was my biggest helper through that.”
Jon Elmore made 34.5 percent of his 3s as a freshman in 2015-16 and 35.2 percent last season. Before this three-game run, Elmore had made 27.1 percent of his 3s this season.
After Thursday’s performance, he is shooting 30.7 percent for the year.
In the season opener, Elmore attempted 11 3-pointers. He didn’t shoot double-digit 3s in any of the next 20 games before the last three games, in which he has attempted 10, 10 and 14.
He made four 3-pointers in three of his first 21 games of the season, and now he has accomplished the feat in three straight for the Herd (16-8, 7-4 C-USA).
“I have been waiting all year for this,” Elmore said. “My whole life I have shot the ball well. There was one game in high school where I made 12 3s in the second half alone, so I’ve always been a pretty good shooter.
“I tried everything. I even didn’t shave for a long time until I started making them. I got in a little funk and no matter what I tried it seemed like I couldn’t get out of it. I have to keep shooting.”