By Brian Murphy
Boise State junior guard Jeff Elorriaga will miss Saturday's game at Nevada and could miss an extended period of time as he deals with concussions and concussion-like symptoms, Broncos coach Leon Rice said Thursday.
"He'll be out for a while," Rice said.
Elorriaga suffered a concussion last week against New Mexico and missed the Broncos' loss at Air Force. He returned to action Wednesday night against Fresno State, but fell and hit his head against the floor late in the first half. Elorriaga did not return in the second half of the Broncos' 74-67 victory.
"He passed all the tests. They wouldn’t let him get out there if it wasn’t the right time for him to get out there. I didn’t have anything to do with him playing or not playing. It’s pretty black and white," Rice said.
Elorriaga, who played football in high school, said he had never had a concussion before.
"It’s more about the way Jeff plays," Rice said. "I can’t fathom him being out on the court without hitting the ground and taking charges and battling in there on the boards. That’s a tough combination when you have a head problem."
The Broncos' "glue guy," Elorriaga is averaging 11.4 points per game and shooting 48.3 percent from 3-point percentage. He also leads the team in minutes at 32.4 per game.
"You’ve got a guy that never comes out of the game and he’s out of the game, it disrupts you a little bit," Rice said.
Without him, the Broncos could turn to a more traditional lineup with big men Ryan Watkins and Kenny Buckner on the floor at the same time. With Elorriaga, Boise State was playing primarily four guards.
Junior wing Thomas Bropleh (wrist) is questionable for Saturday's game.
Boise State (14-4, 2-2 in the Mountain West) visits Nevada (10-8, 1-3 MW) on Saturday at 2 p.m.