Monthly Archives: August 2010

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… :-)

Israeli team saddened, keeping tabs on Torrance

The news of Mikhail Torrance’s sudden collapse and hospitalization is not just news in Alabama and the United States. A proud professional team in Israel is also following the updates with heavy hearts.

Torrance had just signed a contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv and was working out in Florida before heading there when the still unidentified medical problem cropped up.

Check out this (translated) story from the Ma’ariv Sports Newspaper  in Israel.  Thankfully Google can turn Hebrew into English although there are a few rough edges.

Torrance’s contract with the team was dependent on passing a physical upon arrival in the Middle East, but the team isn’t bailing on him.

AOL Fanhouse, the first to report on this story, had this update posted on its website this afternoon.

Stay tuned for more on this.

The stats are in from scrimmage II

Alabama media relations just sent over the raw number from today’s scrimmage.

Once again, realize these numbers are not necessarily representative of what an average game would look like. For example, Nick Saban said both of Greg McElroy’s interceptions were not bad passes. One was on a tipped ball and the other was on the final play where he had to force a ball.

So, without any more filibustering, here are the numbers.

Greg McElroy – 10 for 18, 134 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
A.J. McCarron – 11 for 23, 110 yards, 1 TDs, 0 INT
Phillip Sims – 11 for 18, 132 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT

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A few scrimmage nuggets

Nick Saban just ran through some of the highlights from this afternoon’s closed scrimmage. Here are the highlights:

  • Today’s action was much more “game like” as opposed to last Saturday’s that was more “situational.” The first 50 or so plays were just as they would have been in a game.
  • On the injury front: Josh Chapman bruised a thigh and Trent Richardson bruised a shoulder. Nether were too serious, Saban said.
  • DeQuan Menzie was back out there after getting hurt a week ago. Saban said the JUCO cornerback transfer “held up OK today.”
  • DeMarcus Milliner and Blake Sims were both still on the sidelines today. Sims was wearing a walking boot on his right foot (see photo here).
  • There was more focus placed on the running game this week as opposed to last when it was an air assault.
  • Kicking game was much improved. Cade Foster was 3-for-4 with his only miss being at 52-yarder. Saban said he came back and made one from that distance with room to spare. Jeremy Shelley, the more short-range kicker, went 4-for-4, according to stats kept by UA media relations. More stats to come.
  • The team gets two days off before returning to practice Tuesday. Since starting practice Aug. 5, the only off-day came last Sunday. That schedule, Saban said, is all part of the master plan.

More to come. Hang in there.

— Michael Casagrande

Agent: Torrance in induced coma

The agent for Mikhail Torrance has posted several entries updating the health of the former Alabama point guard on his Twitter account.

According to Happy Walters, Torrance is in a medically induced coma in a post that went up at about 2:30 p.m. CST.

“He is stable and in an induced coma. His heart is fine. The Doctors are going to bring him out of his coma tonight in order to evaluate”

Check back later for further updates.

VIDEO: Tide warms up for Saturday scrimmage

Here is yet another video in my Alabama all limited access series. It is heavy on the quarterbacks and wide receivers, though the linebackers slipped in there somewhere towards the middle. Enjoy and check back later for scrimmage updates.

Surprise, surprise: Tide tops AP poll

The Associated Press surprised no one this morning when it released its annual top 25. Alabama led the way just as it has in virtually every other preseason estimation. Here is the rest of the list.

1. Alabama (54) 14-0 1,491 1
2. Ohio St. (3) 11-2 1,400 5
3. Boise St. (1) 14-0 1,336 4
4. Florida 13-1 1,237 3
5. Texas (1) 13-1 1,223 2
6. TCU 12-1 1,160 6
7. Oklahoma (1) 8-5 1,104 —
8. Nebraska 10-4 1,033 14
9. Iowa 11-2 1,007 7
10. Virginia Tech 10-3 973 10
11. Oregon 10-3 870 11
12. Wisconsin 10-3 822 16
13. Miami 9-4 785 19
14. Southern Cal 9-4 590 22
15. Pittsburgh 10-3 516 15
16. Georgia Tech 11-3 511 13
17. Arkansas 8-5 496 —
18. North Carolina 8-5 397 —
19. Penn St. 11-2 382 9
20. Florida St. 7-6 379 —
21. LSU 9-4 300 17
22. Auburn 8-5 296 —
23. Georgia 8-5 206 —
24. Oregon St. 8-5 198 —
25. West Virginia 9-4 184 25

Others receiving votes: Cincinnati 108, Stanford 81, Utah 80, South Carolina 71, Houston 66, Connecticut 32, Notre Dame 31, Missouri 27, BYU 19, Arizona 15, Clemson 15, Texas Tech 14, Navy 12, Washington 8, Texas A&M 7, Mississippi 6, Oklahoma St. 3, Cent. Michigan 2, Middle Tennessee 2, Temple 2, Boston College 1, SMU 1, UCF 1.

Update on Mikhail Torrance situation

The Associated Press just updated its story on the hospitalization of former Tide point guard Mikhail Torrance. Instead of paraphrasing, here is the entire AP account:

Former Alabama standout point guard Mikhail Torrance collapsed after a workout in Bradenton, Fla. on Friday and is hospitalized in critical condition, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.

Torrance had been training at the IMG Academies when he lost consciousness, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the player’s family had not authorized the release of any information.

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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.

VIDEO: Linebackers, DBs at practice

I did a little experimenting with the new video editor feature on YouTube to condense some of the practice tapes posted on the blog. Let me know if you like it better this way.

First, here’s the linebackers working with defensive coordinator Kirby Smart and linebackers coach Sal Sunseri.

Next, Nick Saban works with mostly defensive backs.

Finally, here’s the result of some more toying around with video editing. I tried to line it up with the music as best as possible.

VIDEO: Offensive line pounding the sled

Check out this close up look at the Crimson Tide offensive line hitting the sleds at Thursday afternoon’s practice. Coming right into your living room is D.J. Fluker (76), Barrett Jones (75), William Vlachos (73), Chance Warmack (65), James Carpenter (77).

More video to come. Stay tuned for that.

— Your pal Michael

Ezell's impression of Saban first uncovered here

Rob Ezell hams it up in California in this Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.

ESPN will take all the credit for televising Athens native Rob Ezell doing a spot-on impression of Nick Saban, but The Bama Blog wants a finder’s fee. It was here that Ezell’s talent was first discovered. Just see the story I wrote about the party trick published back in January:

Is it Ezell or Saban?

By Michael Casagrande
Sports Writer
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — Rob Ezell’s talent is both a blessing and a curse.

Most players who can do a spot on impersonation of Alabama coach Nick Saban would keep that hidden, but this Thanksgiving, the backup receiver from Athens took center stage.

In Saban’s home.

In front of the coach.

Saban’s reaction?

“He took it all right,” a laughing Ezell said. “He said I did a pretty good job. Mrs. Terry (Saban), she really liked it. I didn’t want to do it, but Terrence Cody put me on the spot.”

Still, he was hoping to avoid the moment until Terry Saban, Nick’s wife, learned of the skill.

“I did it first when coach Saban was out of the room, but it was almost like a movie, he walked in right at the right time when I was in the middle of it,” Ezell said.

Cody, who called it “a real good Saban impression,” was never worried about the coach’s reaction. “We tried to get him to do it last year,” Cody said. “But he was scared, so we finally got him to do it, and it turned out good.”

See a little more of Ezell’s personality from Fan Day in these videos I shot of the new star and his film crew.  You might remember that third one since it made it into the broadcast.

UPDATE: Here is the video from the broadcast of Ezell’s impression.

Politics as usual with a Nick Saban twist

Powerful in coaching and politics?

Politics in Alabama can get ugly dirty flat out ridiculous. That held true in a story that developed today on the Birmingham News website.

Long story short, a Bessemer mayoral candidate tried to claim Nick Saban had her back in the upcoming election. In reality, no such endorsement was made. And the photo of her and Saban distributed in a flyer? It was a fake.

It almost sounds too crazy even to be made up, but Saban’s endorsement apparently is the key to the mayor’s office in Bessemer. Powerful enough to trample of the honest political tradition of Abe Lincoln, apparently.

Read the stories as they developed starting here and continuing here.

— Michael Casagrande

VIDEO: Quaterbacks, receivers at practice

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VIDEO: Running backs at practice

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