Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Renardo Sidney Commits to USC

Renardo Sidney is one of the best high school players in the country.

There is not arguing that.

Rivals has him as the #10 recruit in the country. Scout and ESPN rank him as #5. Think Greg Monroe plus a few pounds.

It has long been speculated that Sidney would be headed to UCLA (Jeff Goodman even says he had a press conference scheduled to commit there). It would make sense. UCLA desperately needs a big man. Alfred Aboya will be graduating this summer, and unless J'Mison Morgan suddenly turns into a star, the Bruins are going to have a void to fill in the middle.

Which is why I don't understand the Bruins reasoning for dropping their recruitment of Sidney.

On Sunday, Sidney announced his intentions to play for Tim Floyd and USC next season.

Yes, the same USC that OJ Mayo, Reggie Bush, Demar Derozon/Lil' Romeo, and now Daniel Hackett have played at.

So, again I ask, why did UCLA back off its recruitment of Sidney? If you believe one blog, is it because UCLA couldn't meet Sidney's price?

Personally, I am jaded enough to believe that everyone in the college basketball purchasing recruiting process is dirty. That is just the way it is these days. There is always an AAU coach or an uncle or a "handler" that is looking to make a little money or get a job off of knowing these kids.

Now I'm not saying that USC is doing anything illegal. Sidney hasn't taken his SAT's yet, and according to the Jeff Goodman article the UCLA administration was worried about whether they could allow him into the school (there are even reports he could end up in Europe). If he went from UCLA to USC, then it is safe to assume that he wanted to stay in Southern California (he goes to Fairfax High in LA). Solomon Hill, his current Fairfax High teammate, will also be attending USC in the fall.

So what does it all mean? I don't know. And I doubt I ever will. Let's just say that I am jaded enough to believe that this decision, and the decision of just about every other big time college hoops recruit, is not as clean as it would seem.

That's just the way you play the game.

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