Sidney-Bailey decision will come after trip's end

By John L. Pitts/NEMS Daily Journal

The Renardo Sidney-Elgin Bailey fistfight is the gift that keeps on giving for ESPN.
Mississippi State basketball coach Rick Stansbury told ESPN’s Andy Katz on Tuesday that he’s close to making a decision on the future of both players, who were caught on the network’s cameras fighting in the stands at the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii on Dec. 23.
“It’s going to be my decision,” Stansbury told Katz, noting that he had completed gathering the facts about the fight between the roommates, who were quickly suspended and sent home.
Later on Tuesday, however, MSU athletic director Scott Stricklin said no decision on the status of the two players would be made until he met with both, along with Stansbury, next week.
Mississippi State (8-5) takes on St. Mary’s (10-2) tonight at 10, in a game to be televised on ESPNU. It’s the last game in a grueling road trip – comprising 11,701 air miles – that began Dec. 18. MSU is 1-3 on the trip, which began with a game in the Bahamas before going to Hawaii.
Center John Riek is slated to rejoin the team tonight and help fill the void inside left by the suspensions of Sidney and Bailey. The 7-foot-1 sophomore from Sudan was unable to make the first leg of the trip due to passport problems.
St. Mary’s, which reached the NCAA Sweet 16 last season, is coming off a 73-53 win over New Mexico State on Thursday. The Gaels are led by Rob Jones, who averages 13.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.
MSU is led by senior guard Ravern Johnson’s 19.6 ppg, but he’s averaged just 11.3 over the past four games.
Contact John Pitts at 678-1522 or john.pitts@djournal.com.