NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- It concluded with a cruel twist. Possibly the greatest scorer in South Carolina history stood at the free-throw line for the two easiest shots in the game with 18.3 seconds to play, trying to even a two-point Alabama advantage. And missed the first one.[details]
2010 (Senior):HEADER MIKHAIL TORRANCE Point Guard/Shooting Guard University of Alabama Crimson Tide #2 6:04.0-207 Eight Mile, Alabama Mary G. Montgomery High School
OVERVIEW A late bloomer, Torrance did not secure the full-time starting point guard spot until the final 15 games of his junior season. He more than made up for lost time, as his 88.4 percent free throw percentage in 2008-09 rank third in school history and his 86.2 percent mark for his career placed second in Tide annals.
Torrance would log 1,043 of his 2,256 minutes at Alabama during his final season. After making 150 of his field goal attempts during his first three campaigns with the Tide, he connected on 163 as a senior, including 39 from three-point range.
Still, Torrance was considered a fringe prospect by NBA scouts. That is, until his stellar performance after the 2009-10 season at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. Thanks in large part to his 17.3 points and 6.0 assists per game his Portsmouth Partnership squad finished third in the three-game event.
Torrance opened up play in the tournament with 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting with a game-high 10 assists in a 104-85 win. After drawing the attention of nearly everyone in attendance at Portsmouth, he followed that up with 23 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, all team highs, in a 98-75 loss.
In the tournament's third-place game, he posted 15 points off the bench in 25 minutes of action. Over the three-game span, he converted on 53.1 percent (17-of-32) from the floor and 94.7 percent (18-of-19) from the free-throw line.
At Mary G. Montgomery High School, Torrance led the school to back-to-back 20-win seasons in 2003-04 and 2004-05. A first-team All-State and All-County selection as a junior and senior, he was named the 2006 Mobile Optimist Club Class 6A Player of the Year. He was also a member of the Mobile Press-Register Sweet 16 both of those seasons.
As a senior, Torrance averaged 22 points, eight assists and seven rebounds per game. During his junior campaign, his averages included 18.5 points, four rebounds and eight assists. He also scored a career-best 37 points in a game vs. Biloxi and made 14 assists in a game vs. LeFlore. In addition, he competed in AAU ball for the Alabama Challenge (based in Birmingham).
Torrance was a seldom-used guard his freshman season at Alabama. Appearing in 21 games, he averaged 3.0 points and 1.3 assists per game. He earned three starts in 30 games of action as a sophomore, producing 3.3 points per game while connecting on 45.7 percent of his field goal chances. He also finished with 73 assists and 12 steals.
Torrance was on the court for 28 games as a junior, starting the final 15 contests. He made 90-of-204 field goals (44.1 percent) and shot 88.4 percent from the foul line while averaging 10.0 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.
With Anthony Grant taking over as the Tide's head coach in 2009-10, Torrance's game began to jell. He was selected second-team All-Southeastern Conference, as he led the team in scoring (15.6 points per game) and assists (5.1 assists per game, 10th-best season total by a Tide player). He connected on 47.0 percent of his field goals and 86.5 percent of his free throws, the fifth-best season percentage in school annals.
GAME ANALYSIS Got his second double-double of the season with 13 points and a career-high 12 rebounds vs. Auburn...Returned to the starting five and scored 23 points at Mississippi State...Had a team-high 20 points with three three-pointers at Georgia...scored 12 points, all in the second half and eight straight to lead the second-half comeback vs. Arkansas...Scored a game-high 22 points with a career-high five three-pointers vs. Florida...Recorded his first double-double with 10 points and a career-high 11 assists vs. LSU...Had his fifth 20-point game with a game high 20 points vs. Miss. State...Scored 23 points vs. Vanderbilt...Scored 14 of his 20 points after he collected his fourth foul vs. K-State...Led Alabama with 18 points vs. Purdue...Torched Providence for a career-high 26 points...Scored five of UA's final seven points in that win.
GAME ANALYSIS 2008-09 SEASON Torrance took over point guard duties for the final 15 games of the season, finishing with 279 points (10.0 points per game), as he shot 44.1 percent from the floor (90-of-204) that included making 23-of-72 three-pointers (31.9 percent)...His free throw percentage of 88.4 (76-of-86) rank third on the school season-record list...Grabbed 65 rebounds (2.3 rebounds per game) to go with 64 assists (2.3 assists per game), 13 steals (0.5 steals per game) and four blocked shots.
2008-09 SEASON Started his first game of the season and tied a career-high with 24 points vs. Mississippi...Scored 20 points and made a perfect 8-8 from the foul line in SEC tournament win over Vanderbilt...Reached double-figure points in four straight games...scored 24 points on 7-of-12 shooting at Auburn...The game before he had a then career-high 20 points in the loss at Mississippi State...Dished out a season-high seven assists at Arkansas...Put up 12 points, seven assists and a career-high tying six rebounds versus Auburn...Opened the season with 10 and 11 points vs. Mercer and Florida A&M, respectively.
2009-10 SEASON Torrance was named All-Southeastern Conference second-team. He started 28 of 32 games, leading the Crimson Tide in scoring with 15.4 points per game...Became the 42nd player in school history to score 500 points in a season...Made 163-of-347 field goals (47.0 percent), including 39-of-109 from three-point range (35.8 percent)...Hit on 135-of-156 free throws, as his percentage of 86.5 rank fifth on the school season-record list and was tops among SEC players for the season...His 135 free throws made rank 11th on the Tide annual record chart...Grabbed 119 rebounds (3.7 rebounds per game), had 26 steals (0.8 steals per game) and blocked eight shots...Ranked third in the league in assists with 5.1 per game (162 total), the 10th-best season average by a Tide player.
2007-08 SEASON Averaged 3.3 points (99 total) and 2.4 assists (73) per game, as he played in 30 of 33 games, starting three times (Troy, Mercer and Belmont)...Shot 77.8 percent (21-of-27) from the free-throw line...Made his first collegiate start in the Mercer game, coming up with a season-best five rebounds...Dished out a career-high 10 assists vs. George Washington.
2006-07 SEASON Appeared in 21 games as a reserve, scoring just 62 points (3.0 per game) while making 12-of-14 free throws (85.7 percent)...Totaled 28 assists (1.3 assists per game), 22 rebounds (1.9 rebounds per game), two blocked shots and six steals.
CAREER NOTES In 111 games, Torrance scored 940 points (8.5 per game)...In 2009-10, he became the 42nd player in school history to score 500 points in a season...Ranks second in school annals in free throw percentage (86.2), topped by only Ronald Steele (86.7 percent, 2005-09)...His free throw percentage of 88.4 in 2008-09 and 86.5 in 2009-10 rank third and fifth, respectively, on the Tide's season-record chart...Averaged 5.1 assists per game as a senior, the 10th-best season average by an Alabama player.
HIGH SCHOOL Attended Mary G. Montgomery (Eight Mile, Ala.) High School, playing basketball for head coach John Davis...Led the school to back-to-back 20-win seasons in 2003-04 and 2004-05...A first-team All-State and All-County selection as a junior and senior, he was named the 2006 Mobile Optimist Club Class 6A Player of the Year...Member of the Mobile Press-Register Sweet 16 both of those seasons...As a senior, Torrance averaged 22 points, eight assists and seven rebounds per game...During his junior campaign, his averages included 18.5 points, four rebounds and eight assists...Scored a career-best 37 points in a game vs. Biloxi and made 14 assists in a game vs. LeFlore...In addition, he competed in AAU ball for the Alabama Challenge (based in Birmingham).
OTHER TOURNAMENTS/TEAMS SUMMER LEAGUE Torrance spent 10 days in China during the summer of 2007, playing eight games, while participating in Reach USA Basketball, an eight-man team that included six SEC players, including UA teammate Demetrius Jemison.
PERSONAL General Human Environmental Sciences major...Son of Leola and Michael Torrance...Born 9/30/88...Resides in Eight Mile, Alabama.
SCOUTING REPORT Positives: Well-built athlete with above-average size for a point guard, which could also see him garner minutes at the off-guard spot, especially with the marked advancement in his offensive game the last season...Has the long wingspan (6-foot-7), standing reach (8-6) and leaping ability (32-vertical jump) to elevate and get his jump shot up and over a defender and uses that size of his well to draw contact, getting to the charity stripe often...Has a quick release and smooth follow-throw with his free throw chances, as he is an almost automatic at the foul line (second in school history with an 86.2 field goal percentage)...Has the lower-body strength and leg drive to consistently finish at the basket and will generally leave a defender behind with his explosive initial step, low center of gravity and ability to slash past the slower off-guards and wings...Bigger than most point guards and shows very good precision as a passer...Has the court vision and ball-handling skills to create shots for others...Maintains balance and has good lateral agility to stay in front of slashing penetrators on the defensive end...Not physical crashing the boards, but is effective angling and avoiding to slip past bigger men in attempts to get to the rebounds...Known more in the past for defensive skill rather than his shooting, but he has greatly improved his mid-range ability...Has the ability to create his own shot when he faces the basket and has the dexterity to sink the one-handed floaters...Drives hard to the basket and can penetrate almost at will, showing the strength to power through and elevate, drawing the opponent into fouling when he gets into the lanes by his ability to squeeze through the defensive gaps...Sees the floor well and has good stamina and the ability to get up and down the court and generates good head fakes to keep the defender off balance...Very efficient putting pressure on the ball-handler and has good hands to easily shift to either side on the dribble...High flyer, glides and elevates in the paint and will generally float to the rim with ease...Has that scorer's mentality to take the ball to the basket when given the opportunity...Has a solid work ethic and even though he over-dribbles, he is a student of the game who puts in extra hours in the film room studying past games...Creates nice mismatches vs. smaller guards due to his size, especially when his man has to defend him along the perimeter, especially on pick-and-roll and set plays...Has the length and instincts to steal the ball and has become good on drive-and-dish plays when he doesn't try to force the action...Has improved the lift and release point shooting from long range, resulting in his three-point accuracy improving from 27.0 percent during his first three seasons combines, to 35.1 percent as a senior...Capable of getting good elevation when asked to shoot over his man from the outside...One of his favorite moves is taking the ball into the lane, getting to the rim and drawing contact to get to the free throw line.
Negatives: Showed marked improvement in his offensive game as a senior, but is still a rhythm shooter who will go long stretches where his shot won't fall...Has a low center of gravity to defend vs. slashers, but despite being a good facilitator, teams look at his size and label him a two-guard instead of a point prospect...Downgraded as a possible point guard because he often plays out of control, resulting in a high turnover ratio...He played for a mediocre team but it wasn't until later in his junior year that he got a chance to start...Despite being a right-hander, he does have problems finishing at the basket when utilizing his right hand...Has improved his arc shooting from the perimeter, but unless he sets his feet and elevates properly, his shots can be contested...Could be more unselfish driving to the basket...Has to slow down the tempo of the game to get a good read on the defense and will force the issue in transition.
Compares To: SHAUN LIVINGSTON, Washington -- Torrance is either an emerging talent at point guard or an off-guard who will have to fight for a roster spot. General managers love point guards capable of driving to the basket -- and finishing. Torrance is a decent passer, but some GMs are concerned that he lets the tempo of the game get out of hand too often. He showed improvement shooting from the perimeter last season, but is still susceptible to having his shot contested.