Torrance Stands Out At Tide Scrimmage

There must be something about the name. Last year, then-senior Mykal Riley poured in 38 points in Alabama's Crimson-White basketball scrimmage. This year junior wing Mikhail Torrance scored a game-high 27 to lead his Crimson team to a commanding 102-77 win over the White before a crowd of about 1,000 Tide fans at Coleman Coliseum.

"I try to keep everybody off guard,so they don't know if I'm going to shoot it right or left (handed)," said the ambidextrous Mikhail Torrance. He also had nine assists, five rebounds and three blocked shots.

"Coach (Alabama Head Coach Mark Gottfried) is asking a lot from me this year; to continue to play aggressive, and to continue to find opportunities for my teammates, Torrance said. The past two years he was primarily a point guard, but this year he is playing off guard and small forward.

Another player who stepped up in the eyes of Tide coaches was junior forward Demetrius Jemison, who tallied a dozen points and a pair of blocked shots for the Crimson. It was on the boards, however, that he really stood out.

"When you're competing for playing time, and a guy jumps out there and gets 15 rebounds, that gets your attention," Gottfried said.

"My goal was to try to get 20 boards," Jemison said. "I was almost there, but there's still room for improvement and that's something I'm going to try to do every night."

"There were a lot of things I liked," Gottfried said. "The guys competed hard and they passed the ball well. We were very unselfish. Some different guys stepped up.

"Anytime you're playing against yourself, if one team is doing well in offensive transition, that means the other team isn't doing a good job on defensive transition. The Red team was doing a good job of penetration, and the White team was not doing a good job of containing the dribble."

Beyond the new, longer three-point line, the teams combined to shoot 16-48, a 33 per cent effort. At the foul line, a problem for Alabama last year, the squads were a combined 41-49 (83.7 per cent).

The Crimson team consisted of starters Anthony Brock, Torrance, Senario Hillman, Jemison, JaMychal Green, and sub Yamene Coleman. Green, a 6-9 freshman, scored 18 points and had eight rebounds. Hillman used an array of dunks and three-balls to finish with 17 points and contributed eight assists. The Crimson got help from Coleman (15) and Brock (13).

Ronald Steele made his return to the Coleman floor with his 21-point, four-assist performance for the White team.

(The team wore the retro uniforms and Gottfried said after the game that will be the uniform of 2008-09.)

"I felt good, and it was good to be back out there," Ronald Steele said. "I felt like we played hard and we got better. We have some good decision-makers."

Steele's teammates were starters Brandon Hollinger (18), Alonzo Gee (20 points, 10 rebounds), Andrew Steele (13), Justin Knox (5), and sub Greg Cage. Knox was the only scholarship player to fail to reach double digits in scoring, but he did pull down nine rebounds and block two shots in 35 minutes.

The teams played two 20-minute halves, but Gottfried opted for a running clock for the final 12 minutes.

One prospect was spotted at the scrimmage. Eric Bledsoe, a point guard from Birmingham Hayes, was sitting with Gottfried. Bledsoe briefly committed to Ole Miss, but has re-opened recruiting.

Alabama will host Faulkner in an exhibition game at 7 p.m. Thursday at Coleman Coliseum.

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