From Draft Express:
Possibly the most intriguing single-game performance seen thus far from an NBA draft perspective was that of Alabama combo guard Mikhail Torrance.
Standing out from the opening tip due to the sheer size (6-5) he brings to the table at the point guard position, Torrance showed terrific physical tools and potential and likely established himself as a legitimate draft prospect in the process.
With his excellent first step and aggressive slashing mentality, Torrance got into the lane all game long against the much smaller Devan Downey, both in transition and off the pick and roll. Wisely looking more concerned with showing off his playmaking ability in order to prove his mettle as a point guard prospect (for which he’s far more interesting for the NBA than at the 2) than scoring, Torrance made some extremely creative passes all game long, both with flashy bounce passes off the pick and roll and with drive and dish plays finding open teammates right underneath the rim.
While Torrance’s conversion to the point guard position is clearly not a finished process—as evidenced by the 7 turnovers he committed—he showed enough potential in this area to show that he’s more than just another 2-guard masquerading at the 1. He’s a willing distributor with solid court vision and nice creativity, even if he needs to do a better job of cutting down on unforced errors and possibly taking as many risks.
While Torrance played an excellent first game, there are still a couple of areas we want to continue to study over the course of the next two games. One would be his defense, an area that he clearly has potential in thanks to his size and athleticism, but seems to struggle in at times to his seemingly average fundamentals. Another is his shooting stroke, which looked a bit streaky in this game.
While obviously not a finished product, Torrance is exactly the type of prospect an NBA team might be willing to spend time and energy developing because of the benefits they could reap down the road. Torrance’s ability to defend either guard position could give a coach a lot more versatility to play alongside a smaller combo guard without great playmaking skills. Torrance’s SEC counterpart Garrett Temple could be a good example to look at. Even if Torrance doesn’t make the NBA on the first go-around, he’s someone teams might want to continue to keep tabs on to see how he progresses down the road.
It would be a hell of a story if Torrance goes from the tumultuous three years under Gottfried to having a chance to compete in the NBA. Best of luck to him.