CHARLESTON, W.VA. -- Jon Elmore has brought a little something extra to George Washington's basketball program - and it's not just his 30.4-point scoring average that currently leads the state.
The 6-foot-3 senior guard, who has already signed with VMI, can also bring a state tournament pedigree to the Patriots' youthful roster, which includes 13 freshmen and sophomores out of 21 total players.
Elmore started a pair of state tournament games in 2011 and 2012 while attending South Charleston and, as a sophomore, led the Black Eagles in scoring with 15 points during their 62-48 first-round loss to Parkersburg.
GW has three players who dressed with the varsity at times during their last state tournament visit in 2012 - Dominik King, Chance Blaney and Chris Kay. However, that trio combined to play just three minutes in three state tournament games that year.
Elmore can give them an insider's view on what it takes to get to the big show at the Civic Center, and what to do when you do get there.
"It's a whole different ballgame,'' Elmore said, "once you make the state tournament. You have games during the school day. Everybody's trying to come to the games, and the level of intensity is crazy.
"But I think each game we're progressing a little bit, and eventually we'll get to the point where we can play with anybody, and we can beat anybody. And that'll get us to the state tournament.''
Rick Greene, GW's coach, realizes the good fortune the Patriots' program received when Elmore more or less showed up on their doorstep in November. Elmore left Christ School, a prep school in Arden, N.C., where he averaged 14 points and six assists last season after leaving SC.
GW returned a handful of players with varsity experience but lost its top two scorers in Division I recruit Luke Eddy and fellow senior Austin Breeden. Only King (8.7) averaged more than 4 points last season.
"We'd be hurting, I think,'' Greene said of where GW might be without Elmore. "What he's done, obviously, is make us a whole level better. We have some guys who have always been role players, and now they can still kind of keep their roles. They don't have to take the pressure of ball-handling a lot of times.''
Elmore's presence has been a godsend for Greene and GW's youthful guards.
"He's allowed us to get those young guards experience,'' Greene said, "because he takes care of things. If you notice, they'll take the ball [against defensive pressure] and if it gets a little shaky, they'll give it back to him. They're getting some great experience and that's probably lost on the average fan or somebody just watching the game.
"He's done a multitude of things, and it's not just what he's done for us this year. He's done things that are going to help us in the future as well.''
Greene also knows Elmore's experience at the highest level in West Virginia Class AAA basketball will help immensely in the postseason.
"He's brought the whole thing,'' Greene said. "These [senior] kids have been in our program since we were in the state tournament and won it, from that standpoint. But did they contribute in a major way? No. They were young kids. They were around. They understand what it's like. But now he can speak from experience - what it's like and what we need to do.
"He's very vocal at times, which I love, and he hates to lose. I've seen a lot of great players who worry about stats. He hates to lose, and that's the best compliment I can give any competitor.''
Elmore, whose family now lives in the GW school district, is certainly not attending classes there to make waves. He knew there might be some resentment with a Division I recruit moving into the program, especially for Patriots players expecting a larger role this season after the loss of Eddy. But Elmore encountered none.