Renardo Sidney Returns to Mississippi State After Fight, Elgin Bailey Transfers

About 10 days ago, controversial player Renardo Sidney got into an embarrassing fight with teammate Elgin Bailey during the team’s trip to Hawaii. Both players were suspended indefinitely after the brawl but coach Rick Stansbury has finally reinstated Sidney. Bailey has informed the coach of his desire to transfer, so he will be leaving the program.

The Bulldogs played two games after both players were suspended and lost both of them — an 11-point loss to Hawaii, and a 22-point loss to St. Mary’s. What’s surprising is that Bailey is transferring from the program. He’s been playing at Mississippi State for four seasons and was in the middle of his junior year, so it’s late in his career to be leaving for another program. Either he was disappointed with the amount of playing time he was seeing (nearly 20mpg), or the fight left him uncomfortable in the program.

Mississippi State already took a big chance by recruiting Renardo Sidney and making him a part of the team. It shouldn’t be surprising that they’re standing by him despite the fight, and that could be part of the reason Bailey is leaving. As for Stansbury, with his team at 8-6 and looking quite average, it’s no surprise he wants his most talented player back.

How Did This Idaho State Free Throw Stay on the Rim for So Long? (Video)

Every once in a while we come across an amazing play in sports that seems to defy the laws of physics.  About a week ago, Idaho State basketball player Kamil Gawrzydek shot one of the most insane free throws you’ll ever witness.  The ball bounced around and sat on the rim for a full three seconds before falling into the basket.  When you first see the video, you’ll swear the ball is just going to stay there.  Take a look at the Idaho crazy free throw video, courtesy of SI Hot Clicks:

It’s incredible enough when we see a golf ball sit on the side of the cup before tumbling into the hole, but at least that’s sitting in solid ground.  This is a basketball sitting on a thin piece of iron.  No idea how it happened, but that’s a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence.

Diana Taurasi Tests Positive for Banned Substance, Lab in Question

Geno Auriemma said he wanted more coverage of UConn and women’s basketball in general. Diana Taurasi has done her part to ensure the team stays in the headlines. The former Huskies star, who also has a DUI to her name, tested positive for a banned substance while playing in a Turkish league.

Taurasi’s agent says it wasn’t a steroid or recreational drug that caused the positive test, but rather a stimulant. He says he wants the “B” sample to be tested as well. Ben York at Slam Online points out that the Turkish lab that did the testing has a questionable history, suggesting Taurasi shouldn’t be crucified yet.

In 2009, the lab in Ankara, Turkey was suspended by WADA for three months for not meeting quality standards. It’s hard to pass judgments on the matter until we know more information, but given each party’s history, it’s easy to side with either one.

Renardo Sidney Gets Into Fight with Teammate Elgin Bailey in Stands (Video)

Mississippi State is in Honolulu for the Diamond Head Classic this week. They got blitzed by Washington State on Wednesday and beat San Diego on Thursday night. After their win Thursday, some of the Mississippi State players stuck around to watch the next games. Two of the players, Renardo Sidney and Elgin Bailey, got into a fight:

Sidney had 19 points in their win over USD. He was also suspended for the Washington State game earlier in the week because of “conduct detrimental to the team,” and he comes with more baggage than a suitcase. After seeing this fight, it’s easy to imagine why. Below is video of the Renardo Sidney-Elgin Bailey fight:

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Western Kentucky Coach Ken McDonald Reimburses Fans for Blowout Road Loss

Western Kentucky is 5-7 on the season and has lost six of its last eight games, including a 114-82 blowout home loss Wednesday night against Louisville. Nobody is satisfied with the team’s play, especially coach Ken McDonald, who has taken actions to personally apologize to fans.

According to Rick Bozich, McDonald sent an apology letter to about 20 fans who were sitting behind the Western Kentucky bench for their road game at Vanderbilt a few weeks ago. The team lost the game 82-62 and committed 21 turnovers, a performance so poor it motivated McDonald to go out of his way to make a move.

He sent each fan $60 to compensate their mileage costs for driving to Nashville for the game. Apparently the fans have as good character as the coach and none have cashed the checks, saying they know teams can have bad games.

It’s certainly a nice gesture by coach McDonald (though it has nothing on this guy) and probably one he learned from Chip Kelly, but it’s nonetheless pretty cool. Can you just imagine if all teams enacted a similar policy? It would build up some goodwill with the fans but in the case of teams like the Clippers it could bankrupt the coach. Where’s Chris Marcus and Courtney Lee when you need them?

Latest UCLA Transfer Matt Carlino Reportedly Chooses BYU

UCLA has lost several transfers recently, but the latest was one of the biggest surprises. Freshman guard Matt Carlino recently announced he was going to transfer, shocking coach Ben Howland because there were no signs of his unhappiness.

Carlino, who is a point guard but was likely to play shooting guard for the Bruins, left over a lack of playing time. He acted swiftly by reportedly choosing BYU less than two weeks after deciding to leave UCLA. For a brief period of time it appeared he would join former Bruins Chace Stanback and Mike Moser at UNLV, but that fell through.

Carlino joins Moser, Drew Gordon, and J’Mison Morgan as players to leave the program within the last year. Though that may reflect poorly upon the program, the reality is players come to school thinking they’re going to win the starting job or at least play significant minutes. When that doesn’t happen, they get discouraged and figure transferring somewhere they can play more minutes will be better for their career. Maybe Carlino will find an opportunity at BYU that he didn’t have at UCLA.

Pic via Scout

Rick Pitino on Concussions: I Don’t Buy It

Awareness of concussions in sports has grown enormously in recent years.  As we’ve seen with all the to do surrounding head shots in the NFL, league officials and doctors are working to try to make sports safer — right now and down the road.  Is the raised awareness the result of advanced research in the medical field or just plain paranoia?  From the sound of it, Rick Pitino is going with the latter.

The Big Lead passed along a few comments Pitino made to The Courier-Journal after one of his Louisville Cardinals was diagnosed with a concussion.

It’s the seventeenth concussion we’ve had this year,” Pitino said. “I’ve been coaching now 35 years. I’ve seen maybe 5 concussions in 35 years. The new thing is everybody has a concussion. If you walk out and slightly brush the door, you have a concussion. That’s the way it is today.”

You might wear a white coat, Rick, but you aren’t a doctor.  From a coaching standpoint, I can understand how an increase in concussion diagnoses can be frustrating.  After all, there’s a good chance it means your guy can’t play in the next game.  However, I don’t see how you can argue that it’s a bad thing.  Doctors aren’t looking to screw players out of playing time by claiming they have some sort of injury that doesn’t exist.  Medicine advances and safety improves.  Rick Pitino and James Harrison will just have to learn to deal with it.