02 November 2008
It's a bit hard to concentrate on basketball the day that Alabama ascended to number one
in the BCS, but the Crimson-White scrimmage was this afternoon at Coleman. We were in attendance - as were somewhere just better than 1,000 of our closest friends (by our estimates).
The final score of the game was Crimson 102, White 77. The star was not who you expect.
The MVP of the scrimmage was Mikhail Torrence
, who led all scorers with 27 points - shooting 9 of 13 from the floor. He added 9 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 blocked shots to his line. He was 8 of 8 from the free throw line as well.
Torrance was a beast from nearly everywhere - the only less than stellar part of his line was his 1 for 3 effort from beyond the newly extended arc. He only had 2 turnovers. Of particular note was his ability to drive and score (or get to the line). He looked like a different player than a year ago.
Torrance was mostly at the shooting guard position - junior college transfer Anthony Brock
(wearing #1) was the starting point guard for the Crimson team. The dimuative Brock (listed at 5'8") had only 3 assists, but shot 3 of 6 from three-point range.
The White team featured a mystery point guard... some guy wearing 22 who apparently is the brother of one of our freshman. Some fellow they were calling "Ronald Steele
" looked a lot like a point guard who used to play here, dropping 21 to lead the White team. He was 3 of 8 from deep, and 8 of 9 from the line.
While he didn't seem quite as explosive as he once was, it didn't seem he was the least bit tentative on his knee. He managed four assists and turned the ball over twice.
Both teams kept Gottfried's promise by running up and down the floor all night. That was part of the reason for the triple digits from the Crimson team. Part of that was also defense that was NBA All-Star game spotty. Senario Hillman
, Andrew Steele
and Brock were among the few to seem to know that defense was required.
Hillman also brought a couple of his signature dunks to the house - including a miss late that prompted his departure from the last moments of the game. Hillman's shot looked better than last year - 3 of 6 from long range and 7 of 11 overall - and dropped 17 points and 8 assists.
looked stronger than ever, and dropped 20 and 10. He was part of Alabama's good night at the line as well - knocking back 4 of 6. He only attempted one three and missed it. He looked very, very good on the glass. Part of that is our lack of any notable size, but his aggressiveness there deserves note. He also commited five fouls (there were no foul-outs in the scrimmage).
showed a total lack of conscience from the floor - lofting 14 threes and knocking down only 4. He scored 18 points on 18 shots from the floor and was 2 of 2 from the free throw line.
All everything freshman JaMychal Green
had 18 points - shooting 5 of 8 from the floor and 8 of 8 from the line. The free throw shooting did not seem like a fluke; he had good form and took very good looking shots.
Green looked very much green in his first unofficial outing in Crimson. He sported a soaking wet jersey for most of his 31 minutes - only Yamene Coleman
and Greg Cage
played less. He was visibly winded for most of the practice. He carded only 8 boards - which was disappointing.
Part of the reason for his difficulty on the boards was the relative success of Demetrius Jemison
, who had 15 boards. He managed to net 12 points as well. Jemison looked stronger after this offseason in the training program. He also had his typical moments of vacation on the floor - checking out for plays at the time.
Freshman Andrew Steele looked good alongside his older brother with 13 points and 8 rebounds. However, he needs to coninue to work on his shot - he was only 4 of 11 from the field (2 of 6 from long range). He looked very much like a freshman, but showed good hustle and a willingness to learn from his older brother.
and Coleman looked better than expected, scoring 5 and 15, respectively. Coleman grabbed 4 boards while Knox snagged 9.
Point guard recruit Eric Bledsoe - a four star recruit on Rivals
(pay site) - was in attendance. He sat at midcourt with Gottfried for almost all of the game. Later, he sat on the Crimson bench for a spell, getting the full royal treatment.
The Tide sported new jerseys - they're like the throwbacks we wore a couple of years ago, with striped trim. Additionally, the floor has been re-painted with the big script "A" at midcourt, and the new three point line drawn on the floor. The area inside the three point line is a faded white, with the lane sporting a natural wood look and an SEC logo. Honestly, it doesn't look good.
If the season were to start today, our best five on the floor would be Ronald Steele, Senario Hillman, Mikhail Torrance, JaMychal Green and Demetrius Jemison. In the past, Gottfried has been less likely to start freshman; that would push Knox or Coleman into the starting lineup (shudder).
The team will demand many four guard/small forward looks, due to our lack of quality depth in the low post. Whatever else happens with this team, they should be fun to watch. If they don't go up-tempo, they will lose many, many games. Look for this to be the year that either Gottfried makes good on his promise to run or starts to look for work elsewhere.