Season Preview: CHD sits down with Boise State’s Jeff Elorriaga

Jon Teitel continues our season preview series by chatting with Boise State SG Jeff Elorriaga about being one of the best three-point shooters in the nation. 


You are one of five returning starters from last year, how big a factor do you think your team’s experience will be this season? It will be one of our biggest strengths because we will know how to handle situations that we have been through together.

This month you travel to Lexington to play Kentucky, how do you prepare to face the top-ranked team in the nation? Until we actually start preparing for that game I do not know how it will look.

What are your expectations for the upcoming season? Our goal is to compete in the Mountain West and the ultimate goal is always to make the NCAA tournament.

In the 2011 WAC tourney title game you set a career-high with four steals in an eight point loss to Utah State.  What is your secret for playing good defense? Knowledge is quickness. Knowing what the other team is going to do will help you be in the right spot and is the most helpful skill. Also, “wanting” to play defense and not “having” to play defense is critical.

In the 2011 CBI La’Shard Anderson’s scored 10 points including a layup with 0.1 seconds left in a 3-point win over Austin Peay. Where does that rank among the most exciting games of your career? I do not really know how to rank exciting games in my career, but it was definitely a jaw-dropping experience to be a part of a game like that.

In the 2012 MWC tourney Jamaal Franklin scored 19 points including an off-balance three point shot with two players in his face at the buzzer in a three point win by San Diego State.  Where does that rank among the most devastating losses of your career? Anytime a loss ends your season it is going to sting a little more, but just like any game (win or lose) you have to shake it off and move on.

Last December you scored a career-high 30 points (including a conference-record 10 three pointers made) in a win over Corban: was it just one of those scenarios where every shot you put up seemed to go in because you were “in the zone”? It was definitely just a matter of being in the zone. My teammates were getting me open and getting me the ball in good spots.

You missed three games last year due to a concussion: how concerned are you for your safety after all the fallout from the NFL’s concussion epidemic? Not at all: football is a game of constant blows to the head, but in basketball it is pretty rare.

You finished the year sixth in nation with 44.7 three point percentage, what is the key to making shots from behind the arc? Repetition and confidence. Confidence is the main thing for a shooter: you have to believe it is going in.

In the 2013 NCAA tourney you scored eight points in a nine point loss to La Salle: what did you learn from that game that you think can help you this year? We learned a lot from that game. The biggest thing is defense, which is the key to winning in March. Offense may come and go but you can always play defense.