Both players met with the media Thursday, the first time Sidney had done so since the NCAA began investigating him about 18 months ago. For Bost, it was his first chance to address his recent reinstatement by the NCAA.
Each must serve a nine-game suspension, with Bost missing an extra six games due to academic ineligibility.
Sidney's long wait
Sidney, a 6-foot-10 sophomore forward/center, missed his entire freshman season as the NCAA conducted an 11-month amateurism evaluation. The findings: He received improper benefits and lied to the NCAA, the latter drawing an unethical conduct charge.
Sidney didn't care to talk specifics of the case, no-commenting when asked about the charge of lying.
"Everybody goes through ups and downs, you've just got to pick up stuff and keep rolling," he said.
Sidney, who weighed 310 pounds when arriving to MSU last year and is at 279 now, eventually had to stop participating in full practices when it became clear he wouldn't be made eligible for the 2009-10 season. He said it took an emotional toll on him.
But he said he doesn't regret coming to Starkville, and he feels stronger for having gone through the whole situation.
"My physical and mind, my mental (focus) got way better," Sidney said. "Last year I would go to a workout, I'd stay about 30 minutes. But this year I went through the whole workout, all the conditioning, all the weights."
Sidney's first game will be Dec. 18 against Virginia Tech in the Bahamas. He hopes to be down to 260 pounds or so by then.
"I tell you what, I'm going to be very nervous," he said. "Like I said, I ain't played in a year-and-a-half, and it's going to be new to me, college. Hopefully I'll get out there and do what I've got to do."
Sidney will undoubtedly start for State right away. For one, MSU is thin on experience in the post, and Elgin Bailey isn't fully recovered. Plus, Sidney is just talented.
"Sometimes talent level can offset some lack of experience and lack of things," Stansbury said.
Bost thinks Sidney could be a top-five pick in next year's draft, if he goes, and he's not alone in that opinion.
"I don't know if I'm going to make a decision to come back next year," Sidney said, "but it depends on how our season goes."
Bost's second chance
Bost, a 6-2 junior point guard, is no top-five pick, but his issue stemmed from not withdrawing his name from the NBA Draft by the NCAA's May 8 deadline. He thought he could still return to school and play if he went undrafted.
Prior to this year, the cutoff date was later, and players who weren't drafted and didn't hire an agent retained their college eligibility.
Bost said he was "listening to the wrong people" but declined to identify those people. Stansbury said Bost's three weeks of pre-draft workouts in Las Vegas led to his academic issues, calling him "a good student."
Said Bost, "I was thankful and happy that I had another chance to play."
Sidney and Bost will be allowed to play in exhibition games, including a Dec. 15 tilt against Belhaven in Jackson. Bost's first regular season game will be the SEC opener against Alabama on Jan. 8.
Working Bost and Sidney into the lineup isn't of great concern for Stansbury, whose team begins formal preseason workouts a week from today.
"It's always an easy problem to have when you're going to plug in players that can play," he said.
Contact Brad Locke at 678-1571