Renardo Sidney wasn’t always a waste of size. He wasn’t always a waste of space. He wasn’t always a lazy, selfish, overweight waste of talent either. Renardo Sidney hasn’t always been a fat, lackadaisical, 6-foot-10, 300-pound poor excuse of an athlete. He hasn’t always been a disgrace to SEC basketball. You see, once upon a time, Renardo Sidney was a McDonald’s All-American, a Naismith High School Player of the Year finalist, and a member of the USA Junior National Select Team. In 2007, he was projected to be the first pick in the 2010 Draft. But somewhere along the way, something went wrong. Most people believe the blame goes on those with major influences in Renardo’s life – mainly his father. Before his junior year of high school, Renardo Sidney Sr. moved his son from Mississippi to Los Angeles to capitalize on his potential. A Reebok employee funded the move and sponsored Renardo’s AAU team, the one his father coached. Agents, shoe reps, and sports attorneys were constantly coming in and out of his life before he turned 19 years old. And here he is, just a few years, a few NCAA suspensions, and one fist fight later, and Renardo Sidney is a complete bust. He’s selfishly jacking up three-pointers and gasping for air while Josh Harrellson goes up for a wide open dunk. Hell, he’s lucky to be on an NCAA roster at all. It’s easy to make fun of Renardo when he looks like he ate the entire SEC West and he’s fighting teammates over leg room. But really, it’s a sad story that shows how young athletes can be influenced and manipulated by the people around them. Just think about what this kid could’ve done had he stayed in Mississippi and lived the somewhat normal, disciplined life of a high school athlete.
To the news and views…
Just a warning – I’m all drugged up on meds (legal meds, I’m sick) so don’t be surprised if I pass out halfway through the post or start writing about a journey through the everglades on a unicorn. It’s the drugs. Oh, and don’t worry, I washed my hands.
— We kicked off our Wednesday with news that the UK Board of Trustees isn’t too pleased with Mitch Barnhart’s extension. It turns out that President Lee Todd didn’t run it by the board before inking the deal with Mitch, when the Board of Trustees should’ve been the final authority in the matter. Nothing can be done now but it says a lot about the Board’s confidence in Barnhart. I hope UK’s next President likes his athletic director because he’ll be stuck with him through 2019. Yay for “exemplary performance”!!!
— The best news of the day came from the athletic director’s office when Mitch Barnhart said UK will no longer approve the SkyCam camera location in the future. Hart’s Dry Cleaners estimates over 300 vomit covered UK2K shirts were dropped off across Lexington area locations Wednesday. With the uproar from Tuesday night’s game, I assume ESPN will chalk this innovation up as a loss and toss the SkyCam in the back storage bin with the other one-time use cameras – like the hotel peephole cam. I admire ESPN’s efforts to enhance the viewing experience, but if they really want to please Kentucky fans, add in some CGI of an Eloy Vargas basket going in. Otherwise, we’re good with high definition.
— In other news from the SkyCam controversy, our own Thomas Beisner made Jeff Eisenberg’s Yahoo! article with his “Renardo Sidney ate the other camera angles” comment. Eisenberg better be sending a check. KSR doesn’t do this one-liner sports comedy show for free.
— As that Matt Jones guy from CBS mentioned earlier, UK is trying to get Trevor Lacey to Lexington this weekend for a visit. Lacey is a lights-out shooter from Alabama (a state that’s been very good to Coach Cal) and he could be the final piece in the 2011 recruiting class. But you knew that already. What we don’t know is if he’s coming or not and we should find that out by Thursday afternoon. If Lacey does make the trip, he better be coming with a donation for Dance Blue. That’s how things work around here.
— It’s looking like, for the first time in its 39-year history, no UK signees will play in the Derby Festival Classic. All four of UK’s current signees have been invited to play in the McDonald’s game and the Jordan Brand Classic, and all will likely accept the invitations. By rule, high schoolers are only allowed to play in two all-star games. The only way the Derby Classic can add a UK signee is if it brings in Trevor Lacey or another recruit who is likely to commit to Kentucky. It’s bad news for the Derby Festival and its fundraising but I can’t say it’s bad news for UK when the entire class is playing in the two biggest high school all-star games of the year.
— Over 24 hours have passed and I still can’t get over the point spread from the Mississippi State game. Twenty! Twenty points! Even that guy in the suit covered in question marks thinks that’s free money. I won’t mention any names, but the guy with the big eyebrows who writes on this site backed out of a $500 bet at the last minute and he’s sick over it. Moral of the story, don’t let people talk you out of doing the responsible thing.
— It was a good day for Boogie as the NBA rescinded that B.S. technical foul from last week and he recorded his seventh double-double in his last nine games. Big Cuz scored 14 points with 12 rebounds and added 4 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. It was his 14th double-double on the season.
— In football news, UCLA hired Joe Tresey from South Florida to be the new Bruins defensive coordinator. Why does that matter to us, you ask? It means Steve Brown is staying put, for now. It was reported earlier in the week that Brown could be on his way to Los Angeles. Brown’s name is rumored at a few other schools too. We’ll keep eyes on it.
— I listened to the first episode of Jason Whitlock’s “Real Talk” podcast and was pretty disappointed. I like Whitlock, and I think his podcasts will be good, but his first guest was Jay Mariotti and all Jay did was whine about how AOL mistreated him. The two spent the entire 45 minute segment talking about Mariotti’s life and that’s not something I’m very interested in. At all. I’m looking forward to the show’s non-Mariotti guests in the future who come on to talk about a wide range of sports topics. Get it together, Whitlock.
— The second episode of Justified Season 2 aired Wednesday night. With each new episode, I fear that Beisner may go blind. Yeah, he loves it that much.
— While we’re on the subject of crime and guns in Kentucky, Louisville played at Cincinnati Wednesday night. The Bearcats overcame a -1 start to upset the #16 Cardinals, 63-54. How does that happen?
That’ll do, pig. As always, tune in to Matt and Big EZ tomorrow morning at 10am. The first caller who calls in and says, “Team Serene Branson!” gets to punch BTI in the face. Speaking of BTI, he’s up next at 9:00 am. Have fun with that.