Mississippi State's Renardo Sidney hasn't had the easiest college career thus far. There's been an NCAA suspension, a suspension for sparring with a teammate, and an overseas preseason tour he wasn't allowed to make this summer. Those have all been warning signs for a 6-foot-10, 280-pound forward who still has hopes of living up to his hype coming out of high school.
But the Bulldogs do have positive reports from this offseason as well, as coach Rick Stansbury is making it known that Sidney has for the first time managed to finish conditioning drills despite his weight issues, according to The Clarion-Ledger.
"That doesn't mean he was winning every race," said Stansbury, "but he made it through it. For him, that’s a step in the right direction. We've just got to keep stepping the right way and not step back."
More importantly, "he’s been a good teammate," Stansbury said.
"The team has handled him very well," said Stansbury, who added that the attitude of his core group of players is much better than last season’s group.
We'll have to see how this translates on the court once the games get going, but the comments from Stansbury have to be a welcome respite from the torrent of negativity that has defined Sidney's stay in Starksville thus far. Stansbury also spoke to Sidney's maturity level, according to the paper.
"We haven’t had any blow ups," Stansbury said. "Call it maturity, call it whatever you want to call it; that's what we want. I don't care what you call it. That's what we expect and need from him."
So far, so good from Sidney. The program can only hope it stays that way for the long haul.