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Smith, Sidney decide to leave MSU program

March 26, 2012

After three years in Starkville Renardo Sidney will try his luck in the NBA. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)

Mississippi State basketball is currently in a state of transition.

The Bulldogs are in the midst of a search for a head coach to replace the retired Rick Stansbury and Monday the university announced the departure of freshman point guard Deville Smith.

Smith, who suffered from undisclosed medical issues during the season, has withdrawn from the university and is no longer a member of the basketball team. The departure comes as no surprise to the MSU officials.

As a freshman the Jackson native appeared in 26 games for the Bulldogs and averaged 4.2 points and 1.6 rebounds. His career high of 25 points came in the SEC opener at Arkansas. He was also fourth on the team with 49 assists and fifth with 20 steals.

Mississippi State requires all students submit an official withdrawal request each semester if they are looking to withdraw from school. This spring’s date was March 19. Smith followed the designated process and submitted his paperwork to Mississippi State prior to the deadline and will now seek a basketball future elsewhere, presumably at Jackson State University.

Renardo Sidney's fate has been determined as well. The former McDonald’s All-American has hired Rouge Sports to represent him in his endeavors as a professional basketball player.

“I appreciate Mississippi State giving me an opportunity to play, but I feel it’s time for me to move on,” said Sidney, who played in 48 games for the Bulldogs. “I’m grateful to all the administrators, coaching staff and the fans for their support during my time at Mississippi State. I’m entering the draft to follow my dream of playing in the NBA and to help my family.”

Sidney averaged 11.5 points and 6.1 rebounds for Mississippi State after sitting out his first season due to NCAA sanctions.

Overall, the 6-foot-10 forward scored in double-digits 29 times, while posting 20-plus points on four occasions.

Last but not least, Arnett Moultrie appears to be doing all the necessary things to keep his options open in regards to returning to school or entering the NBA draft. Last week the Jackson Clarion Ledger reported he was nearing a decision and could announce his intentions as early as this week.

Moultrie has until April 29 to enter the NBA draft per draft guidelines set aside by the NBA.

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