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Friday, December 17, 2010
Renardo Sidney still not in shape

By Eamonn Brennan

Yesterday, Diamond caught you up on the influx of talent currently happening at Mississippi State, where guard Dee Bost and forward Renardo Sidney are both finally making their way to the floor for the Bulldogs. Both missed much of the nonconference schedule thanks to eligibility-related suspensions by the NCAA -- Bost for removing his name from the draft after the deadline; Sidney for taking improper benefits as a high-schooler -- and both are key to the Bulldogs' chances of cracking that ever-elusive NCAA tournament nut.

The only problem? Somehow, Sidney is still not in shape. Here's MSU coach Rick Stansbury speaking after Mississippi State's Tuesday exhibition win over Bellhaven (via Mike DeCourcy):
“Renardo had a lot of fatigue. He will have to get in better shape if we are going to use him a lot.”

I might be missing something, but hasn't Renardo had an entire calendar year, plus a month or so this season, to focus on getting in shape? Didn't his teammates rave about his work ethic in the offseason? Didn't these concerns trail Renardo throughout his entire high school and AAU career? Didn't anyone get this memo?

Mississippi State desperately needs Sidney to have a productive year. That's motivating factor No. 1. Sidney desperately needs to show NBA scouts he can capitalize on the talent that made him one of the most highly sought-after big men in the class of 2009. That's motivating factor No. 2. Even if Sidney didn't buy in to the former, you'd think he'd realize -- especially given his bombast and bravado during the suspension -- how much skin he has on the line in the latter. Apparently not, or at least not yet.