The sophomore from Savannah "took a spill" in practice yesterday, per Jones, and was left with a bum ankle.
As it turned out Quarterman shook off the injury and took the pain out on the Rebels, posting 18 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a much-needed 73-63 win for LSU (21-8, 10-6).
"It's a great accomplishment to get a triple-double out there, just having fun with my teammates," explained Quarterman. "It wouldn't be possible without them. And just to get it with a win, we needed this win."
The triple-double for Quarterman was only the eighth time the trick has been turned in program history, with Shaquille O'Neal owning the previous six - all points, rebounds and blocks - and Pete Maravich the author of the first (33 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in Feb. 1969 versus Mississippi State).
Shaq's last ultimate stat-filler while on campus, and the last time an LSU player had a triple-double before Saturday, came on March 19, 1992, when The Diesel barraged BYU for 26 points, 13 rebounds and 11 blocks.
When informed about the select company he joined, Quarterman was incredulous. "That's greatness that you just called out. Shaq and Pistol Pete. I've just got to thank God and I'm happy that I did it."
His head coach was even more impressed with Quarterman's defensive effort.
Quarterman, in the hours before tweaking an ankle in practice, met with Jones in his offense, conveying that he wanted the challenge of guarding Stefan Moody, the leading scorer for Ole Miss at 16.5 points per game.
Moody left Baton Rouge Saturday with 15 points, but the junior college transfer struggled from the field, hounded by Quarterman and misfiring on 13 of his 16 shot attempts (Moody did convert all eight of his free throws).
"Tim did an excellent job. I brought him in the office yesterday, and we had some defensive styles that we talked about," Jones told reporters. "I wanted to make sure that he was locked in on who we really wanted him to guard. We also discussed who would be most effective on. He wanted that assignment (of Moody), and that was good for us. Offensively, with him having only one turnover against that kind of pressure, it shows how locked in he was."
About the only thing left to discuss was how Quarterman learned he was closing in on the feat in the waning moments of the LSU victory.
"I think Jalyn (Patterson) told me," recalled Quarterman. "One of them told me, 'Get one more assist, get one more assist.' I was like why? He was like just get one more. Then Mick (Jordan Mickey) dunked it and I heard the crowd saying triple-double.
"It was a crazy moment."
It was indeed Mickey's flush off a Quarterman drop-off with 106 seconds left in the ballgame that cemented the historical stat line. It also was Patterson that planted the seed in Quarterman's head.
"I knew if I told him, he was going to go get it. I knew he was," Patterson said, denying any similarity to it being like a pitcher in the midst of a no-hitter. "So I saw him on the pick-and-roll (with Mickey), and I knew he was going to go out and get it. I wanted him to get it, so I told him."
Guess it stands to reason that since Quarterman dished out 10 assists of his own, he was due a helper like that from a teammate.
---------------------------LSU fans, check out even more postgame content from the Tigers' win over Ole Miss.