STARKVILLE — The ongoing Renardo Sidney saga added another chapter Friday as the Mississippi State men”s basketball program announced the junior forward left campus earlier this week to return to Houston, Texas, to work out with former NAB All-Star and coach John Lucas.
Sidney won”t travel with MSU for its five-game slate in Europe, which begins Aug. 5 in Amsterdam. However, he is expected to return for the beginning of the fall semester.
MSU started team practice this week, and Sidney was enrolled in summer classes for the July term.
MSU coach Rick Stansbury didn”t return a message left Friday.
Sidney worked out with Lucas in May and June. He lost 23 pounds but said he weighed 320 when he showed up in Houston.
Sidney tried to clear the air about his status with the team.
“Everybody has their own opinion, but I”m doing what I have to do,” Sidney told The Clarion-Ledger. “There”s nothing else going on. They can say what they want to say but, like I said, I know what I have to do basketball-wise. I wasn”t ready to go, and I felt like I really wasn”t in shape. I wanted to come back down here and get some more work.”
Sidney drew praise from teammates earlier this month for his improved stamina during players-only workouts. Sidney said “he”d never worked that hard in his life”, referring to his workouts in Houston.
“I ran 18 miles a week,” Sidney said. “We did two-a-days, basketball-wise.”
Friday”s revelation is the latest in a string of headline-grabbing incidents involving the former Parade All-American.
Sidney”s year-long eligibility battle with the NCAA saw him miss his freshman season and the first nine games of his sophomore year. He averaged 14.2 points and 7.6 rebounds in 19 games. He was suspended twice, including once in December after he and former MSU center Elgin Bailey fought in between games at the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii.