New-Look Renardo Sidney

When Renardo Sidney went out to Los Angeles, the 6-foot-9 versatile forward put on some extra weight. Well, he's dropped about 20 pounds since last year and he's back to looking as if he has no equal in the Class of 2009.

Renardo Sidney still chuckles when he recalls the moment a couple years ago that he basically committed to Alabama.

His father doesn't even believe he ever said it.

``I had just gotten back from going to their camp and that was all I knew," said the talented and versatile forward. ``I said it, though. I wanted to go to Alabama."

Much has changed since Sidney was on the verge of giving the Crimson Tide a verbal pledge.

He was ineligible for his freshman season in high school in Mississippi and then moved out to the west coast prior to his sophomore year and attending Artesia High in California.

He put on weight upon heading west, but has taken it off and now is 6-foot-9 and 225 pounds – nearly 20 pounds shy of his playing weight a year ago.

``My knee was bothering me last year because I think I was growing," said the 17-year-old. "I'm much better than I was last year with the Southern Cal All-Stars."

Part of the reason is that the L.A. Dream Team may as well be called Team Sidney. His father is the coach and the younger Sidney has the go-ahead to be creative.

He can run the point, lead the break or go into the post and use his big body to do some work in the paint.

That's what Sidney is all about: Versatility.

When Sidney was in the south, he was laid-back. A typical "yes, sir" kid out of Mississippi. Now his personality has grown from living in Los Angeles.

He enjoys the life enough to say that he doesn't want to return to the south in a couple more years when he graduates high school.

Sidney said that UCLA has expressed the most interest while his father added the Texas has begun to step up their efforts lately.

``We're looking for structure," the elder Sidney said. "Not just basketball. Renardo needs to have discipline."

``I want to go to a school that can put me in the right place," Sidney said.

A translation of that means that Sidney wants to go somewhere he can showcase all of his game.

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