As Alabama basketball moves into the offseason, BamaInsider is continuing its end-of-season reviews, breaking down the Crimson Tide players’ performances based on expectations. Next up on our list is redshirt-sophomore guard Jahvon Quinerly.
What did we expect?
Quinerly, a former five-star recruit in the 2018 recruiting class, was expected to make an immediate impact as a freshman under Jay Wright and Villanova. Although that wasn’t the case as he played less than 10 minutes per game while averaging 3.2 points and 0.9 assists on 33.7 percent shooting from the field. Quinerly entered the transfer portal before enrolling at Alabama that summer.
When analyzing his strengths, Quinerly is a player who excels in a fast-paced system by using his speed and crafty finishing ability. He was limited offensively at Villanova as it ranked 335th in adjusted-tempo according to Kenpom.com.
During his preseason Zoom call with reporters, Quinerly talked about his short stint at Villanova.
“For me, I wasn’t having fun anymore while I was there,” Quinerly said. “Obviously the fit, I didn’t fit their system, and I wanted to play in a faster-paced system that Oats and Coach B [Bryan Hodgson] have presented to me.”
Quinerly was next in line at point guard after the NCAA denied his waiver request for immediate eligibility in 2020. He was expected to be a low-efficiency scorer, which wasn’t the case.
What did we get?
Quinerly exceeded everyone’s expectations as he was Alabama’s most consistent option in the second half of the year. He scored more than 10 points in 14 straight games to end the season while averaging 14.9 points and 3.4 assists on 47.8 percent shooting from three over that stretch.
This season, Quinerly averaged 12.9 points, 3.2 assists, and 2.2 rebounds on 47.8 percent shooting from the field. He was one of eight high-major players with a 3-point percentage above 40 percent and assist rate (percentage of assists collected while on the floor) above 25 percent.
Quinerly was named the MVP of the SEC tournament, averaging 15.67 points, 3.0 assists and 2.67 over Alabama’s three games against Mississippi State, Tennessee and LSU. He recorded 14 points, five rebounds and four assists over 28 minutes during Alabama’s 80-79 victory over LSU in the championship game.
In this play, Quinerly is matched up against LSU guard Javonte Smart (No. 1) with the shot-block running down. LSU’s Trendon Watford (No. 2) stunts as Quinerly penetrates into the lane, which allows him to hit Keon Ellis for a corner 3-point attempt. Quinerly is great at collapsing defenses into the paint and making kick-out passes to shooters.
Quinerly played with more patience as the season progressed which unlocked his offensive potential. Examining this possession, Quinerly is aware that he’s in poor positioning for a rim attempt. He decides to take it back out and quickly shoot a 3. Georgia’s K.D. Johnson (No. 0) was late on the shot contest, allowing Quinerly to have space on his 3-point attempt.
On defense, Quinerly struggled to begin the season due to his size and motor. However, after being challenged by head coach Nate Oats midway through the season, he responded by upping his effort and production on the other side of the ball. Quinerly has taken strides in his defensive game and has developed into a serviceable defender against other talented guards.
Quinerly also showed maturity by accepting his switch to his role off the bench midway through the season. After starting seven games of his first 12 games, he transitioned nicely into his sixth-man status, improving his production.
Jahvon Quinerly’s move to the bench
Quinerly is expected to return to college for his second season at Alabama. It’s unknown whether he’ll move into the starting lineup or continue his sixth-man role with five-star freshman point guard J.D. Davison enrolling this summer. This season, Quinerly averaged 13.1 points and 3.0 assists in 23 games off the bench.
NBA teams will give Quinerly a look if he continues to play at this level next season.
Although, he must continue to improve his consistency on defense and provide a similar 3-point shooting output. The Hackensack, N.J. native turns 23 in November with three years of eligibility remaining.
Season Grade: A-