BroncoSports.com will feature Thomas Bropleh, Jeff Elorriaga and Ryan Watkins this week
A dead-eye marksman by nature, Jeff Elorriaga proved over the course of his career that he meant much more to the Broncos than just a player with an exceptional outside shot. Elorriaga fought through injuries at different stages of every season to make sure his presence and leadership was available for his team to draw from. Boise State is 54-29 in games he starts, 20-13 in games he came off the bench, and 3-12 in games when he did not play.
Judging by the number of rebounds Ryan Watkins gobbled up this past season, most Bronco fans probably would not be surprised to see Watkins walking around campus with a hard hat and lunch pail. Watkins turned in one of the most prolific rebounding seasons in Boise State history by averaging 10.6 rebounds per game. Couple that with a steady 11.9 points per game, and you have the first Bronco to average a double-double since 1971-1972.
The video series begins with an overview of the 2014 seniors by the three Bronco coaches who were with them all four years. Head coach Leon Rice, associate head coach Jeff Linder and assistant coach John Rillie share their thoughts in the video below.
John Rillie is in his fifth season with Boise State men's basketball, and his fourth as an assistant coach.
Rillie, who is responsible for the development of the Broncos' perimeter players, spent the 2010-11 season as the director of basketball operations.
He helped lead Boise State to the NCAA Tournament in 2013, the first at-large selection in school history. Boise State went 21-11 in 2012-13 and followed that with a 21-13 campaign in 2013-14, giving the Broncos three 20-win seasons in four years. The 21 victories are the fourth-most wins during the regular season in school history.
The Broncos tied for fourth in the Mountain West - the top-rated league in the country per the RPI.
With Rillie on staff, Boise State has led the Mountain West each of the past two seasons. The Broncos averaged 76.2 points per game in 2013-14, the second-highest season average at Boise State in the last 38 years.
Much of Boise State's scoring has come from the outside. The Broncos made 264 three-pointers in 2013-14, after making 249 in 2012-13. Those marks rank second and fourth, respectively, in single-season history at Boise State.
In his debut season as an assistant, Rillie helped guide the Broncos' move to the Mountain West, which finished the season ranked fifth in the NCAA conference RPI - ahead of the ACC and Pac-12.
Prior to joining the Boise State staff, Rillie was playing and coaching basketball in Australia, his native country. He began his coaching career in 2009, working in the Townsville Junior Basketball Association. In 2010 he was an assistant coach for both the Townsville Heat/Lightning U16 and North Queensland U16 teams.
His playing career began at Tacoma Community College in Tacoma, Wash., where he played one season (1991-92) before transferring to Gonzaga. During Rillie's three seasons (1992-95) with the Bulldogs, he helped lead the team to a NIT appearance in 1994 and the school's first berth in the NCAA Tournament in 1995.
Following the completion of his collegiate career, Rillie spent 16 years playing professional basketball internationally. From 1995-2009 he enjoyed stints in Australia with the Brisbane Bullets (1995), Adelaide 36ers (1996-98), West Sydney Razorbacks (1998-02 and 2003-04) and Townsville Crocodiles (2004-09), and spent 2009-10 with the New Zealand Breakers. Rillie also played one season (2002) with AEK Athens of the Euroleague.
From 1997-2004 Rillie was also a member of the Australian National Team, which he represented in the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Rillie and his wife Heidi have three children, Jaron, Kael and Halle.