Remembering the 2014 Seniors: Jeff Elorriaga

April 3, 2014

This week BroncoSports.com takes a look back at the careers that comprised one of the most accomplished senior classes in Boise State basketball history. Thomas Bropleh, Jeff Elorriaga and Ryan Watkins finished their stay at Boise State with 77 wins and two postseason appearances.

Only five Broncos have won more games in the Blue and Orange than Bropleh, Elorriaga and Watkins; but perhaps no four-year trio has resurrected Bronco basketball quite the way they did. With the wins piling up, attendance soared during their careers and the members of the class of 2014 fit the role of fan favorites.

The series concludes with a look at Jeff Elorriaga. Watch the video below and join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #3lorriagaThursday.

#3lorriaga Thursday
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.

Simply put: when Elorriaga played, the Broncos had a significantly better chance of winning.

While much of his value on the court can be attributed to his shooting ability and his 42.7 career three-point percentage – good for No. 3 all-time in school history – the Broncos needed his presence because of all the intangibles that he brought to every game.

In 116 games, he played 3, 131 minutes and turned the ball over just 70 times. Always playing within himself, Elorriaga found a niche being a reliable player who always made the right decision on the floor.

When he was scoring, his buckets came via the three-point line. Out of his 255 career field goals, 221 of them came from beyond the arc. No. 3 all-time in school history for three-pointers made, Elorriaga nailed 10 three-pointers against Corban on Dec. 30, 2012 to set a school record for most three-pointers in a game.

This past year, he recorded 26 points in just 12 minutes of play on 9-of-10 shooting, including 7-of-8 from three-point land to help the Broncos defeat Simpson on Nov. 15 in their season-opener. He drilled six three-pointers on two occasions; at New Orleans on Nov. 23 and at home against Saint Mary’s on Dec. 14.

Elorriaga came onto campus as a walk-on in the fall of 2010 and did not waste any time in carving out a position on the team. By the beginning of February, he began starting for the Broncos and his playing time skyrocketed from 10.8 minutes per game over the first 23 games, to 27.8 mpg in the team’s final 12 games.

He steadily progressed his sophomore season before he burst onto the scene as a junior. He averaged 10.2 ppg, including a 44.7 three-point percentage that led the MW and ranked him No. 6 nationally.

The Broncos will be hard-pressed to find another player who can replace Elorriaga’s commanding presence and knockdown three-point shot—next season or any other.


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