Category Archives: basketball

Internet works, Coach K appears

For now at least, the press box wireless is operable, so I can report the crowd is about 50/50 at this point. There are Bama fans everywhere including Cameron Indoor Stadium which is right next to Wallace Wade Stadium.

A few writers and I walked over to the legendary home of the Blue Devil basketball program. There were a few hundred fans — mostly wearing crimson — milling about taking pictures when Coach K walked through. (I’d look up the proper spelling, but there are more important things to do right now.

Punters and kickers are booting it around with 76:33 showing on the countdown to kickoff.

Basketball schedule released

Without further delay, I present the 2010-11 Alabama men’s basketball schedule just released by the school.

Nov. 8 Alabama-Huntsville (Ex) Tuscaloosa
Nov. 12 Florida A&M Tuscaloosa
Nov. 15 Troy Tuscaloosa

Nov. 19 vs. Seton Hall U.S. Virgin Islands
Nov. 20 vs. Iowa/Xavier U.S. Virgin Islands
Nov. 22 vs. TBA U.S. Virgin Islands
Nov. 27 Alabama A & M Tuscaloosa

Continue reading

A few Wednesday afternoon updates

Relatively speaking, this is one of the most pleasant August afternoons I can recall. So, to celebrate, here are a few updates on stories that have been in the news recently.

  • AOL Fanhouse is reporting Mikhail Torrance is breathing on his own now. The site that’s been on top of this one from the very beginning is saying Torrance suffered a heart attack Friday in Florida. Read the rest of their report here.
  • Dot Davidson made headlines nationally when her campaign doctored a photo involving Nick Saban. Apparently, the false endorsement didn’t do the trick. She did not make the runoff in the Bessemer mayor election after yesterday’s balloting. She got just 13 percent of the vote.
  • Speaking of Saban, how many college football coaches have a profile on Internet Movie Database? That’s IMDB for those in the know.
  • Two former Alabama basketball walk-ons are doing well at the University of New Orleans, according to Sports Illustrated.

Torrance’s agent updates condition

The agent for former Alabama basketball player Mikhail Torrance took to his Twitter account again Sunday night with updates on his condition.

Here are the three “tweets” just sent by Happy Walters:

Mikhail Torrance update: Doctors have lowered mikhail’s body temp to normal. Waiting for him to wake up. Family is talking to him.

Not yet responding to commands, but there is some movement in arms and legs. We hope he will wake up so doctors can assess brain function.

At this point – this is the most important thing. Will try to keep every1 updated 2morro as well… 🙂

BREAKING: Torrance collapses, rushed to hospital


The news is not pleasant out of Florida. AOL Fanhouse is reporting former Crimson Tide point guard Mikhail Torrance collapsed during a workout in Bradenton and was rushed to a local hospital.

The report cited family sources who said Torrance was in critical condition and breathing with a ventilator.

Read that complete story here.

You can only hope this isn’t a result of the heart ailment he recently disclosed and likely kept him from being drafted in June. He joined the Heat summer league team, but never played.

Most recently, he signed a contract to play professionally in Israel.

Stay tuned for updates.

Mikhail Torrance signs with Israeli team

The professional basketball journey of Mikhail Torrance is taking him overseas. The former Alabama player projected to go as early as the first round of the NBA Draft has signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Super League. Read this story from over the pond.

Torrance had a free agent deal to play with the Miami Heat’s summer league team, but he never saw game action. His previously undiagnosed heart condition that kept him from being drafted could have been a factor.

Torrance will also be reunited with former Crimson Tider and Athens product Richard Hendrix who also plays for Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Read more in Monday’s paper.

Torrance blames heart issue for going undrafted

Here is the story on Torrance’s draft issues and his signing with the Miami Heat’s summer league team:

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Former Alabama point guard Mikhail Torrance believes a heart condition kept him from being selected in the NBA draft.

Torrance told The Birmingham News and Mobile Press-Register on Monday that he has signed a free agent deal with the Miami Heat and will play for the franchise’s Summer League team.

Torrance says the heart condition was “the only reason” he wasn’t drafted last week. Torrance says he was diagnosed before last season with athletic heart syndrome, a condition where the heart is slightly bigger than normal due to prolonged exercise.

Torrance says Alabama team doctors cleared him to play and told him the condition was common.

He led the Crimson Tide in scoring and assists, averaging 15.6 points a game.

Follow the SEC basketball coaches teleconference

It might be something. It might be nothing, but I’ll be listening and participating so to pass along any important information from the SEC basketball summer teleconference beginning now.

We’ll see if John Calipari gets questions about the Eric Bledsoe issue or what Anthony Grant has to say about the upcoming season.

Just follow the action on the twitter feed below.

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Tide basketball picks up international big man

It looks like Alabama basketball coach Anthony Grant will get a little help with his absence of big bodies.

According to, 7-foot-1 Carl Engstrom of Sweden committed to play for the Crimson Tide next season. 

Take a look at this video of Engstrom to see how the big guy runs the floor. Not too bad for a 7-footer. With Grant’s fast-paced style, big men must be able to move like this.

Check out more footage of the newest member of the Tide here, here and here. It would helped if you spoke Swedish.

Mikhail Torrance goes undrafted

Once again, view mock drafts with caution.

Contrary to the eight I referenced yesterday, Mikhail Torrance was not among the 60 players selected in Thursday night’s NBA draft. Two of these experts actually said he’d be the 18th overall selection.


Time for a vacation, or maybe a new career path if picks are that far off.

It had to be a disappointing night for Torrance, who I have to say was an impressive kid in the year I covered him at Alabama. Always polite, he’s one that you hope see succeed in life.

Now he’ll have to fight extra hard for a roster spot in the summer leagues. Stay tuned for that.

Mikhail Torrance in the mock drafts (links)

Here is the table that should run with my story in Thursday’s papers. Only this one includes links to the full mock draft websites. We still haven’t discovered how to do that in print, but stay tuned.

Yannis Koutroupis, 18th (Miami Heat)
Steve Kyler, 18th (Heat)
Alex Raskin, 27th (Nets)
Sports Illustrated: 27th pick (New Jersey Nets)
Sam Smith, 28th (Memphis Grizzlies) 29th (Orlando Magic)
Yahoo Sports: 45th (Minnesota Timberwolves) 46th (Phoenix Suns) 47th (Milwaukee Bucks)

Torrance working his way up mock drafts

Mikhail Torrance wasn’t exactly known as a lottery pick when his finished his senior year at Alabama in March.

Give a few months, and the hype is growing behind the ex-Crimson Tide guard.

Now, there’s a chance Torrance could land late in the first round in Thursday night’s NBA draft.

Dan Barto, the director of pro basketball training at IMG Academy, worked with Torrance and helped shape his improved stock. Barto said his pupil could go as early as the 18th pick to the Miami Heat.

Read more tomorrow about Barto’ impressions of the soon-to-be-pro and what he expects Torrance will do once he lands on an NBA roster.

Rico Pickett going pro again

Here is the news that just came off the Associated Press wire. I will hope to update later.

NEW YORK (AP) — All-MAAC guard Rico Pickett is leaving Manhattan after one season to play professional basketball overseas.

Pickett, from Decatur, Ala., led the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in scoring last season with 17.7 points per game.

A statement from the Jaspers on Friday did not say where the 6-foot-4 Pickett planned to play. Coach Barry Rohrssen supported Pickett’s decision as being the “best for him and his family at this time.”

A few notes for your post-holiday Tuesday

There is nothing major to report on this day after Memorial Day, but there are a few nuggets of note. Here they are in no particular order:

  • Tide basketball player Demetrius Jemison was released from his scholarship after missing the entire 2009-10 season with a torn Achilles tendon. He graduated in May and would have been a fifth-year senior if he would have returned next season. Jemison becomes the second player to opt out this off-season after Justin Knox transferred to North Carolina last month.
  • Things didn’t work out in NFL camps for former Alabama linebacker Eryk Anders, so he’s taking his game to Canada. The linebacker who put the blind side hit on Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert in the BCS title game signed on to play for the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL.
  • Star Jackson is heading to Georgia State next season, according to the Mobile Press-Register. The former third-string Tide quarterback will play for the first-year FCS program that visits Bryant-Denny Stadium in November.

Justin Knox transfers to UNC

It looks official: Justin Knox is heading to Chapel Hill. Multiple reports, including this one, says the Tuscaloosa native is heading to the ACC and one of the nation’s proudest basketball traditions.

So, I guess this who UAB mess is an afterthought now.

It will be interesting to see how much playing time he will get with the Tar Heels after citing that issue as the reason for leaving the Crimson Tide. His junior season had peeks and valleys, but he played well towards the end of the season.

Stay tuned if further details emerge in this one.

And now, the Bama Blog video of the day.