November 24, 2009 7:30:00 AM
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State men''s basketball coach Rick Stansbury doesn''t expect freshman forward Renardo Sidney to be available later this week when the Bulldogs travel to the San Padre Island Invitational in Texas.
If the NCAA doesn''t answer questions about Sidney''s status as an amateur athlete before Wednesday, he won''t travel. MSU will play Richmond at 5 p.m. Friday.
Stansbury is concerned about leaving Sidney behind where he''s separated from the team for a week, but he has been pleased with the way he''s handled himself.
"Give the kid some credit because it''s tough to push through some things with that cloud around him about the uncertainty of his future," Stansbury said.
When Sidney is cleared, Stansbury said his conditioning won''t allow him to play much, but his skill level will help him contribute.
"Conditioning doesn''t take away his ability to understand the game, ability to score in the low post, and ability to pass," Stansbury said. "The question is how many times can he go up and down the floor consistently and how many times can he go out from the basket and guard some and in defensive transition."
NOTES: Stansbury said freshman guard Shaun Smith, from Macon, could be out for the season because of hip surgery, but is still waiting word on an MRI he had Friday to find out for sure. ... Stansbury will look to get continued minutes for junior forward Elgin Bailey (ankle) and junior guard Riley Benock (foot) tonight against Texas-Pan American so they can play their way back into shape. ... Junior forward Kodi Augustus has served his two-game suspension for comments he made about the coaching staff, but Stansbury didn''t say Monday if Augustus has done enough to regain his starting spot. Augustus started the season opener against Rider. "Once he''s served his punishment and did what he''s supposed to do, I have no problem with him being right where he was." ... As part of its "Holiday at the Hump" promotion, MSU has extended an invitation to all Mississippi high school and middle school basketball teams free of charge to the home games against Texas-American, St. Bonaventure (Dec. 5), Wright State (Dec. 16), and Mississippi Valley State (Dec. 28). The teams must enter as a group and need to fax a roster of player''s names, coaches, and bus driver to 662-325-3648 no later than noon the day of the game. The fax needs to contain the games you want to attend and a cell phone number for the coach. For more information, call the MSU basketball office at 662-325-3800.
1. Bulldogs land commitment from McLaurin at Collins LOCAL SPORTS