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Blog Entry

Will this be really good or really bad for MSU?

Posted on: May 5, 2009 3:04 pm
Edited on: May 5, 2009 3:05 pm
 

It seems Mississippi State could have one of the best frontcourts in the nation next season.

Or an NCAA investigation on campus.

Or both.

Either way, the developments coming out of Starkville over the past week sure are interesting, and if Rick Stansbury gets everybody enrolled and cleared and on the court with healthy knees, the Bulldogs might be the favorite to win the SEC ... and a whole lot more. Make no mistake, the possibility of having Renardo Sidney, John Riek and (if he withdraws from the NBA Draft) Jarvis Varnado on the same team is enough to start whispers of a Final Four, but right now the whispers are about much different things -- specifically an article in Monday's Los Angeles Times that questioned whether Sidney has compromised his amateur status, and the lingering belief that Riek will never be healthy enough to contribute despite his potential once being that of a lottery pick.

The gist of the Sidney story is that he's been living in a home that nobody seems to think his family could afford if everything was pure. It's valued at $1.2 million, and the report claimed that the Sidney family has been renting it for between $4,000 and $5,000 a month. Assuming that's true -- and there's no reason to believe it isn't -- I can't imagine a scenario under which the Sidney family has any documented income that suggests they can afford to pay a rent like that, meaning there's a decent chance the NCAA will ask them to explain the home and several other arrangements, and that's probably not going to be a good day for the Sidney family.

Bottom line, I'll be surprised if Sidney ever plays at Mississippi State.

But I've been surprised before.

As for Riek, well, I haven't seen the guy in nearly two years, but when I did see him at the LeBron James Skills Academy during the summer of 2007 I walked away convinced he was a future lottery pick, perhaps a future No. 1 overall pick. The 7-foot-2 center from Sudan was clearly raw, but he was active to the point where he was dunking and blocking everything. Had you held the 2008 NBA Draft that day and put Riek in it, only a handful of guys would've been selected ahead of him. But knee problems have hampered Riek's development in the past 18 months, and so now he's more of a question mark than anything else.

Bottom line, I do think Riek will play at Mississippi State.

But I'm unsure how effective he'll be given that he's still not considered anywhere close to 100 percent.

All that said, the emotions at MSU are currently ranging from excited to skeptical to frustrated to scared because there are many ways this could go, and a big gap between what's good and bad. The best-case scenario has a cleared Sidney, a healthy Riek and a back-in-school Varnado dominating the SEC while the worst-case scenario has an ineligible Sidney, an unhealthy Riek and a done-with-school Varnado leaving fans to wonder what might've been.
Comments

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: May 7, 2009 11:49 am
 

Will this be really good or really bad for MSU?

I think John Reik is 35.



Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: May 6, 2009 3:01 pm
 

Will this be really good or really bad for MSU?

And to add to Gary's point, the consensus reason that UCLA and USC didn't accept Sidney is that there have been concerns about his eligibility issues for a while now. So this is not anything new associated with Sidney, it's actually old news. Maybe if you paid more attention to the history of this kid you wouldn't have just made such a fool of yourself.



Since: Mar 11, 2009
Posted on: May 6, 2009 11:56 am
 

Will this be really good or really bad for MSU?

Right, that's why he was ready to sign with USC until they told him last second that they didn't want him. Only then did MSU become a serious player.



Since: Feb 8, 2007
Posted on: May 6, 2009 1:14 am
 

Will this be really good or really bad for MSU?

Sidney PICKED MSU OVER SOUTHERN CAL. And UCLA too for that matter. I think it is pretty well established that Sidney DID NOT pick MSU over USC and UCLA.

USC and UCLA opted not to accept his commitment.

That's how he landed at Mississippi State.

Anybody suggesting otherwise isn't being honest.



Since: Sep 23, 2006
Posted on: May 5, 2009 11:23 pm
 

Will this be really good or really bad for MSU?

I'd love to see MSU's full-strength frontline take on Kentucky's this season.  Sidney, Riek, and Varnado against Patterson, Orton, and Cousins -- UK still gets the advantage, as they have 6 more guys at PF or C to spell the starters, while I don't think MSU has the depth.



Since: May 5, 2009
Posted on: May 5, 2009 10:47 pm
 

Will this be really good or really bad for MSU?

Interesting.  MSU and Stansbury have been a big fish in a small pond the last five years or so as the SEC west is no BB power division.  It seems like he has lost a ton of great high school recruits to the NBA (Monta Ellis and Travis Outlaw are the two that come to mind).  I remember he landed Lawrence Roberts when Baylor fell apart a few years ago and I think they got as high as No. 2 in the nation (in the polls).  Otherwise he has had success with some homemade teams, but nothing spectacular.  These characters are not Lawrence Roberts though as they seem to have some serious baggage.  At least it will make for some good reading or soap opera material.  I wonder if these types of players really fit in with his types of teams?



Since: May 5, 2009
Posted on: May 5, 2009 10:40 pm
 

Question

If Sidney had gone ahead and signed with Southern Cal would you have written this article? Here's what riles me up, and that's the fact that all this gets written because of one simple fact - Sidney PICKED MSU OVER SOUTHERN CAL. And UCLA too for that matter. Never mind the fact that MSU was always in the running for him due to the fact that HE'S FROM MISSISSIPPI. What? In the end, the kid just wanted to come home and play in front of family and friends.
By all reports he makes his grades and is a good kid.
Oh, and in 13 YEARS under Stansbury, MSU has won more games than anyone in the SEC other than Kentucky & Florida. Only TWICE did MSU fail to make a postseason tournament since he took over. I haven't looked it up, but I'd wager we've won more games than the Trojans over that timespan. 
And MSU Basketball under Stansbury has NEVER been in any kind of trouble with the NCAA. He runs a clean program and is an outstanding recruiter.

If Sidney is ruled ineligible, he's ruled ineligible. And, it has nothing to do with USC or MSU.




Since: May 5, 2009
Posted on: May 5, 2009 10:37 pm
 

Will this be really good or really bad for MSU?

Interesting.  Stansbury has done a good job as a small fish in a small pond.  The SEC west has been a little suspect in BB the last few years.  LSU msy be on the rise with MSU, but the rest of them are also rans in the NCAA.  I think MSU got lucky a few years ago when Lawrence Roberts transferred in from Baylor and I think they may have gotten as high as No. 2 in the nation at one point (in the polls).  These two characters are not Lawrence Roberts though as they seem to have some serious baggage.  At least it will make for good reading or good soap opera material if nothing else.



Since: Apr 17, 2007
Posted on: May 5, 2009 5:08 pm
 

Will this be really good or really bad for MSU?

Wall is in trouble, Sidney is acting crazy, UConn is going crazy. Don't you miss the days players just went to the NBA? LeBron got his Hummer and no one asked any questions back then. You'd think the games would have been less risky since college teams no longer had to compete against NBA dollars. Oh well. 


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