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Renardo Sidney stayed stateside, but it wasn’t his choice


Mike Miller

Renardo Sidney reportedly spent the summer getting in shape, physically and mentally. But it doesn’t sound as if Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury is buying that line quite yet.

Sidney, whose immense talent has often been overshadowed by off-court issues, didn’t travel to Europe with his Bulldog teammates. It supposedly was because he wanted to return to Houston and continue working with former NBA coach John Lucas.

Except it wasn’t Sidney’s decision. From Brandon Marcello of the Jackson Clarion-Ledger:

“Let’s make sure to get this clear: it was not his decision to go to Houston,” Stansbury said. “Everybody understand that. I made that decision, nobody else made that decision. I made the decision, OK? That’s where that is and, again, would I have liked for him to have been on the trip? I would have and it would have been good, but there are some things he had to handle that he hadn’t handled. Since then, he has.”

Sidney attended a training camp and received counseling from former NBA star John Lucas this summer. Sidney returned to campus in early July but left the team later in the month to return to Houston, bypassing the Bulldogs’ five exhibition games in Europe.

“He fulfilled some obligations he had to have for the team,” Stansbury said today. “And he did that. So, we’ll see if he keeps progressing. We all want to hope and believe he can.”

Stansbury effectively hitched his wagon to Sidney last season, only to see the wheels come off when it mattered most. If he’s unwilling to trust what Sidney says until the 6-10 center actually showcases it the court, that’s probably the smartest thing Stansbury could do.

Sidney doesn’t get the extra time with teammates, but anything that ensures he’s ready for the season is worth any chemistry risk. Too bad he missed out on Europe, though. It could be a future professional location.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.