San Diego State men's basketball will be without redshirt-sophomore Matt Shrigley for four weeks after X-rays revealed a "small fracture" in his left non-shooting elbow. Shrigley, one of the Aztecs best long-range scoring threats, will be re-evaluated in two weeks, according to Mark Zeigler of the U-T San Diego.
Shrigley jumped a pass around the half-court line and went up for a two-handed dunk as Point Loma Nazarene's Judd Welfringer followed during last Friday's exhibition. Welfringer made a play for the ball with one arm but caught Shrigley in the air with his hips and opposite arm, flipping Shrigley upside down with his arms breaking his fall. Although he returned to the line to shoot his two free throws, Shrigley didn't look very comfortable shooting the ball after that point and he didn't play any minutes in the second half.
If the entirety of the estimated 4-week recovery period is indeed necessary, expect to see Shrigley back on the court in early December around the same time SDSU prepares for a tough road test against the University of Washington.
So what will it mean for the Aztecs?
As you know, points will be at a premium this season as they were last year. With two of SDSU's best perimeter shooters already in the starting lineup (Trey Kell and Dwayne Polee II), the Aztecs must embody a "next guy up" mentality. Senior Aqeel Quinn and sophomore Dakarai Allen are the best fits to inherit Shrigley's off-guard minutes. Quinn shot at a 35 percent clip last year, which was good for fourth-best on the team, while Allen didn't attempt a single long ball all season.
SDSU doesn't have another sharp-shooter on the bench, so much like their task of replacing last year's production from Conference Player of the Year Xavier Thames, replacing Shrigley's production will be a team effort.
Some might say that the silver lining in this situation is increased playing time for Dakarai Allen, who's confidence would probably benefit from a bigger role and consistent minutes. Allen played well on Friday, scoring five points and snatching five rebounds in 19 minutes, but he turned it over twice and at least one more turnover didn't make its way onto the stat sheet. With the amount players and coaches raved about the freshmen guards Trey Kell and Kevin Zabo in the preseason, it was beginning to look like Allen might not see much of an increase from his near 11 minutes per game last season.
Shrigley's absence could very well change that.