STARKVILLE — Just one game into his collegiate career, Mississippi State sophomore forward Renardo Sidney is back on the bench.
Only this time, it”s head coach Rick Stansbury”s decision and not that of the NCAA.
Tuesday, the team announced Sidney would be suspended one game for “conduct detrimental to the team” ahead of today”s opening round game of the Diamond Head Classic against Washington State.
The suspension stems from an incident involving players and coaches during Monday”s practice, a team spokesman said. Exactly what transpired to force the suspension isn”t clear.
“Sid is suspended for conduct detrimental to the team,” Stansbury said in the release. “That”s all I”m saying. That”s all that needs to be said.”
Saturday, Sidney enjoyed a modest debut against Virginia Tech at the Battle of Atlantis Shootout in the Bahamas, where he scored 12 points and grabbed three rebounds before fouling out.
The talented forward had been inactive for over a year-and-a-half after a one-year, nine-game suspension for accepting impermissible benefits and later lying to NCAA investigators about the benefits.
Expectations for the former McDonald”s All-American and consensus five-star recruit were high considering the Bulldogs” lack of post scoring and how long the anticipation built around his debut.
MSU tailored its schedule to have Sidney available for its ongoing holiday trek from the Bahamas to Hawaii and Las Vegas, where they”re facing major conference opponents for the first time all season.
The Bulldogs (7-3) played a five-games-in-five-days stretch three days before facing Virginia Tech, which won decisively, 88-57.
After Bulldawg Junction originally broke the news Tuesday morning, the team responded with an initial statement that Sidney had been released indefinitely.
Shortly thereafter, a team spokesman clarified Sidney”s suspension would be for just one game.
Sidney took to Twitter in reaction to word of his suspension and rumors of his status with the team, first responding to a critical follower with profanity-laced response.
He then tweeted: “If u go to Mississippi state and I dnt kno u dnt hit my page up and u dnt kno what u talking about cuz it can get real ugly in Starkville…”
The tweets continued with: “One game suspended is kinda alot!”
Stansbury will not comment further on Sidney”s suspension.
Stansbury has done his best to temper fans” expectations of Sidney, who after an entire offseason and nearly a month into the season is still 10 pounds shy of his target weight of 265.
Before Sidney”s exhibition debut Dec. 15 against Belhaven, Stansbury spoke about Sidney adapting to playing with emotion after being idle for so long.
He gave no indication Sidney had been any previous problems with discipline.
Point guard Dee Bost, one game into a nine-game NCAA suspension, won”t be available until Jan. 8.
The Bulldogs play without both of their big names against Washington State (8-1), which has a win over Gonzaga and a five-point loss to No. 5 Kansas State under its belt.
The Bulldogs will face either San Diego or No. 15 Baylor on Thursday.