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Alabama 'optimistic' of Jahvon Quinerly's eligibility next season

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama basketball coach Nate Oats is optimistic transfer point guard Jahvon Quinerly will be able to play for the Crimson Tide next season.

Quinerly, a former five-star recruit, spent his freshman year at Villanova last season after decommitting from Arizona following an FBI probe into college basketball which involved Arizona assistant Emanuel "Book" Richardson. Quinerly and his family were wrongfully accused of taking money from Richardson during the recruiting process but were later cleared of such charges, allowing him to play last season. After joining Alabama earlier this month, the star point guard is in the process of filing for a hardship waiver that would grant him immediate eligibility.

Quinerly was participating with the rest of the team during Alabama’s skill session Wednesday. Following the workout, Oats told reporters that a hardship waiver had not yet been filed but that compliance director Matt Self and the rest of Alabama’s compliance team were in the process of organizing a claim.

“They’re still gathering all the information that they feel that they need,” Oats said. “Quinerly’s parents are here this weekend. I know (Alabama’s compliance department) met with them when they were here. It would be great to get him just because we like to play with multiple guards.

"Having him and Kira (Lewis Jr.) together would be great. They can both pass, dribble and shoot… Hopefully we can get him this year. If not, I think he’s got a great mindset either way. If so, great I can play. If not, we’re going to get a lot better in the year we’re going to have to sit out. So his mindset is great either way. Hopefully, we get the waiver though.”

Quinerly failed to make much of an impact during his lone season at Villanova, averaging 3.2 points while registering just one minute of action over the team’s final eight games of the season. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound point guard shot just 33 percent from the floor and 25 percent from beyond the arc in 25 games for the Wildcats.

The thought among many is that the distraction of the NCAA probe along with Quinerly’s abrupt switch in schools contributed to his lackluster performance. Oats reiterated several times Wednesday that he felt the young point guard needed a “fresh start” on the court. The Alabama coach also stated he has received support of Villanova head coach Jay Wright through voicemails. If Quinerly fails to land a waiver, he would have to sit out next season and would have three years of eligibility remaining.

“Our compliance is pretty optimistic with what has transpired with him his senior year,” Oats said. “The family was wrongly accused, and they’ve been cleared of all that stuff. He’s got a fairly large following, and he went through a lot personally. His family went through a lot. Hopefully the NCAA understands all that. He needs a fresh start after everything he’s been through.”

Quinerly was rated as the No. 31 overall player and No. 7 point guard in the 2018 class. He was one of the standouts during Wednesday’s workout, connecting on several 3s while also stepping in to guard junior Herbert Jones when the team went through five-on-five drills.

“He plays very hard on the offensive and defensive end,” Jones said. “He has a very high IQ. He can really handle the ball and finish at the rim, and he can shoot it well.”

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Photo | Getty Images
Photo | Getty Images