On Sunday, top-10 class of 2009 prospect Renardo Sidney announced his intention to attend USC during a gathering of family, friends and media at his Los Angeles Fairfax High School gym. Sidney spoke to Rivals.com on Monday about his commitment and revealed that USC hasn't always been his top school.
"There have been other schools like UCLA, Virginia and Mississippi State who have been my top school," said Sidney. "When I announced the press conference I didn't know for sure where I would go. I started working on it with my family last week from Monday till Thursday. On Thursday, I made the decision and then slept on it until I announced for USC on Sunday."
Not only have other schools been at the top of his school list, USC's rival was his top school only a week before his commitment announcement.
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"UCLA was the leader going into that week, but then something happened and my parents didn't tell me what it was," said Sidney. "They just said they thought it was best for me to open up my options."
Now that Sidney has decided on USC, he feels that a burden has been lifted.
"I feel a lot of relief," he said. "Now a lot of people can stop asking me where I'm going to school. Now that I know where I'm going to school, I can focus on my academics and getting ready for the college game. I felt like I was ready to commit and that my family was ready to commit. I liked the USC deal, so I wanted to get it over with.
"Coach Floyd is a good coach. He's coached at every level - high school, college and pro. I have a lot of friends who will be at USC - Solomon Hill, Marcus Williams, Lil' Romeo and DeMar DeRozan are some of them. And the academics are well known at USC. It's a great place for me to play basketball and get my education."
It is highly unlikely that Sidney, who has NBA potential, will be at USC for all four years of his eligibility. Sidney doesn't have a timetable for when he would like to enter the NBA draft, but instead has a couple lofty goals he wants to achieve his freshman year.
"We'll see on that," Sidney said when asked if he hoped to enter the draft after his freshman year. "I want to help USC win a national championship and get player of the year, and then we'll go from there. I'm ready for Coach Floyd to get on my tail and get me back to being the player I can be and make me lose weight."
Sidney pointed to a specific year when he was the player that he wants once again to become.
"My sophomore year at Artesia was when I was at my best," he said. "I was in shape and running up and down the court and playing the whole game without getting tired. I had a good attitude and was playing great basketball.
"Then I started slipping and not working and wasn't focused. I gained weight during my junior year. At the end of my junior year, I new I had to get it back together and get focused."
Sidney still has to get a qualifying ACT/SAT score to be eligible to play for the Trojans next year. He has been working with a tutor for a couple months and is confident he will do well on both tests - which he is scheduled to take in March.
Sidney, who is averaging 24 points and 10 rebounds per game during his senior season, is presently the No. 10 ranked prospect in the Rivals150.