Elmores are first family of NCAA scoring
Marshall’s Thundering Herd won the battle Tuesday night.
But the war?
That victory went to the Elmores — Gay and Jon.
Remember the column back on March 12 detailing how the Elmore duo was the second-highest scoring father-son combination in NCAA Division I history?
The Elmores trailed only Dell and Stephen Curry, who combined for 5,020 points to the Elmores’ 4,823. The elder Elmore scored 2,423 points for VMI (1983-87) and at the time the younger Elmore had scored 2,505 points for a total of 4,928.
So, that left the Elmores 92 points short.
But that was before Marshall’s five postseason games in the Conference USA Tournament and the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
Those games thickened the plot.
The younger Elmore got the points race off to a great start by pouring in 32 points in Marshall’s win over Rice. Next, he added another 18 points in a loss to Southern Miss.
That put the Elmores 50 points closer.
Then, the CIT became the difference-maker. Senior guard Jon Elmore fired in 22 points in a win over IUPUI and followed it with 16 points during a triumph over Presbyterian.
That boosted the Elmores’ total to 5,016 points. When the younger Elmore was informed before Monday’s practice he had to score only five points against Hampton on Tuesday to break the Currys’ record, he just grinned.
“I guarantee I’m going to score five points,” he said.
Instead, he scored 28 points in the Herd’s 80-78 win over Hampton to increase the Elmores’ total to 5,044 points.
That did it.
The Elmores — Gay and Jon — became the highest-scoring fatherson combination in NCAA Division I history.
“It was cool,” said Jon, after helping break the record. “Just a lot of hard work. I’ve heard stories about how hard my dad worked. Just working out in the off-season, constantly jumping rope, playing ball, working on his craft — stuff like that.
“I’ve taken a lot from him. I’ve been blessed by the family I have that pushed me to be a better person — whatever it takes — and better player — whatever it takes. So, I’m very fortunate to have the support system I do.”
Then, there’s the actual bragging rights of being able to say me and my dad scored more points in college than Dell and Stephen Curry did.
“Oh, it’s pretty cool ... it’s pretty cool,” said Elmore, who will lead MU against Green Bay in the CIT championship game at 7 p.m. Thursday in Cam Henderson Center. “They went on to have some pretty good careers after college, so, hopefully, I can get to the NBA and we can matchup a little bit and jibberjabber about that.”
The father-son list is impressive. It includes Rick Barry (2,298 points at Miami (Fla.) and sons Brent (1,305 points Oregon State) and Jon (1,355 points at Pacific and Georgia Tech). Then, there’s Jimmy Walker (1,767 points Providence) and son Jalen Rose (1,788 Michigan); Bill Walton (1,293 UCLA) and Luke (1,179 Arizona); and Henry Bibby (1,293 UCLA) and Mike (1,061 Arizona).
And don’t forget Gerald Wilkins (1,449 Chattanooga) and Damien (1,275 at N.C. State and Georgia).
That’s fast company.
“It’s cool just to see those names of the father-son combos,” said Elmore. “The Currys are two of the better players of all time, so to be in the same sentence with them and be on top of them, in this case, is pretty neat.”
What a great Father’s Day present.
Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at email@example.com.