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November 10, 2008

Five-star forward Sidney visits UVa this weekend

While it has seemed for several weeks that things were extremely quiet on the basketball recruiting front for UVa with regard to class of 2009 prospects, that couldn't have been further from the truth.

Quietly working behind the scenes, Dave Leitao and the Cavaliers have been in active pursuit of five-star Los Angeles (Calif.) Fairfax big man Renardo Sidney, who is among the most talented players in the nation regardless of position.

And the hard work from UVa has paid off, as sources close to the situation have confirmed with CavsCorner that Sidney and his parents will be heading to Charlottesville this weekend for an unofficial visit.

The 6-foot-10, 250-pounder is ranked 10th nationally in his class by Rivals.com, and to this point his recruitment had not been connected at all with Virginia.

Rather, many believed that Sidney might choose to pursue a professional career in Europe after his high school days are finished, as five-star 2008 point guard Brandon Jennings did, while the schools most often linked to Sidney have been UCLA, USC, LSU and Mississippi State.

Sidney and his parents are expected to arrive in Charlottesville on Saturday and they will remain in town until Monday. As part of their stay they will take in the Cavaliers' season opener against VMI on Sunday afternoon.

Sidney is originally from Mississippi and he took an unofficial visit to Mississippi State while on a family trip back the state in which he grew up.

Of course, the five-star post player is also quite familiar with UCLA and USC, having lived in Los Angeles for the past couple of years.

Up until this point, there has been almost no discussion of Sidney signing with any school during the early signing period, which starts this Wednesday and runs through Nov. 19.

Virginia is expecting national letters of intent from Tristan Spurlock and Jontel Evans on Wednesday, and one source told CavsCorner that the Cavaliers would not hesitate to sign Sidney this fall if he wanted to pursue a college career in Charlottesville.

As for what type of player Sidney is, Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Jerry Meyer offered the following scouting report: "An elite prospect, Sidney has size, athleticism and is skilled with the basketball. He has three-point shooting range and is a dangerous player in both the low-post and high-post. He passes and handles the ball well and can also be a physical rebounding presence down low."

Stay tuned to CavsCorner for more on this developing story throughout the week, as well as reaction next week from Sidney about his trip.


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