TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — It worked like magic a year ago.
Last season's SEC Sixth Man of the Year candidate Jahvon Quinerly thrived in Alabama's system once he moved into a bench role midway through the season, resulting in SEC Tournament MVP honors.
Tonight, in Alabama's much-needed win over No. 13 LSU, Quinerly was moved to the bench after starting the previous 17 games. Much like last season, the change yielded positive results.
"Losing three games in a row is tough, we knew we needed to change something," Quinerly said. "Last year I was successful in that role, so I have no problem coming off the bench to try to provide a spark for the team. It was a mutual thing between me and the coaching stuff and I have no problem, I just want to win basketball games."
Just four days after an abysmal four point performance on the road against Mississippi State, Quinerly exploded for 17 points off the bench in the role he grew accustomed to a year ago. He also added three rebounds and one assist.
"He came to see me," Alabama head coach Nate Oats said about the decision to bring Quinerly off the bench. "We hadn't been playing well as a team, and individual players hadn't been playing well. I think [Quinerly] has been trying to play hard, trying to play the right way. He's been giving us great effort."
The New Jersey native's points came on 6-16 shooting from the field, including two made three-pointers. While 2-7 from beyond the arc was not as efficient as most would like, it was Quinerly's best night from deep percentage wise since Dec. 21 against Davidson.
"Some guys are more well suited to come off the bench weather it be less pressure, or just seeing how the game goes," Oats said.
Oats also noted having three Sixth Man of the Year winners when he coached at Buffalo.
"We had one of our best players, if not our best player off the bench up there. Either [Quinerly] is going against their starting point guard when he's fatigued of their backup point guard when he's off the bench."
Last season, Quinerly posted double figures in every game from Feb. 3 until the end of the season all while embracing his role off the bench. Perhaps this season could see more of the same, as he looks to restart a similar streak in a rematch against Missouri on Saturday inside Coleman Coliseum.