When last week's news broke, scouts and front office personnel from NBA teams across the country let out a sigh of grief as just another setback for the career of Mississippi State junior forward. Sidney will stay behind in Houston and miss an upcoming team trip to Amsterdam in two weeks to train and work out with famed basketball trainer John Lucas. There's no way to really spin this as positive- team chemistry and staying out of the media, especially for Sidney, is first and foremost. Why is Sidney not ready to play in these exhibition games with his teammates?
Sidney missed his entire freshman season due to ineligibility concerns by the NCAA and then sat out the first nine games of last season due to a further NCAA suspension from the previous year. As a result of his suspension (and teammate Dee Bost's), coach Rick Stansbury packed five games in five days to ensure Sidney was back before SEC play. Not only did the Bulldogs lose four of five games on the trip, but Sidney was suspended twice for being insubordinate and then a second time for fighting with former-teammate Elgin Bailey in the stands of a pre-season tournament game in Hawaii.
Still, there is no denying Sidney's talent… or troubles. He ended up averaging 14.2 points and 7.6 rebounds for the Bulldogs. According to Lucas, his training has already paid-off for the hulking forward- he has lost somewhere around 25 pounds, but Lucas is also working with Sidney on a maturation transformation, not just a physical. If this hard work can continue to renovate Sidney, the Bulldogs will challenge Alabama atop the SEC West as Stansbury welcomes back Sidney, Dee Bost (15.3 points, 6.3 assists) and UTEP transfer Arnett Moultrie (9.8 points, 6.7 rebounds).