Perhaps it really was that the Mississippi State locker room was extremely hot, but the media room felt just fine, yet Renardo Sidney was constantly wiping his face with a towel as the sweat kept beading up.
It was shortly before 6 p.m. yesterday at Humphrey Coliseum, and Sidney was addressing the media about his collegiate debut tonight in an exhibition game in Jackson.
The first thing he said: "Man, I'm just nervous."
That was evident.
It's been quite a while since the 6-foot-10, 275-pound Sidney played in an actual game. With his NCAA suspension now completed, he's ready to suit up for the rest of the season. He's not the only one eager for his debut.
"I'm just ready to see my little brother Sidney play," junior Elgin Bailey said following MSU's win over Alabama State. "I told him I want him to play all 40 minutes."
Sidney said he'll start tonight's game, but coach Rick Stansbury said last night that he hadn't made that decision yet. But you can expect to see a lot of Sidney, and there will be much scrutiny of a player who Stansbury has said could wind up being the best to ever play in Starkville.
Sidney understands the level of expectations he's been saddled with. He was a McDonald's All-American at Fairfax (Calif.) Senior High and was one of the most sought-after prospects in the country before off-court issues scared off bigger schools.
"My expectations (are) always big and high. Do what I did in high school. I know this is another level, but I think I'm ready for it, and I've been waiting for a long time to get back on the court. I'm just ready."
Sidney said his focus will be to stay in the post – most of the time – and try and not get too frustrated when things don't go his way. He failed at both of those last time we saw him, in a preseason intrasquad scrimmage, and he's got a reputation – deserved or not – of being pouty when things don't go right.
His regular-season debut will be Saturday against Virginia Tech in the Bahamas.
"I guess Wednesday is like a tuneup game for me," he said. "I'm looking forward to playing Saturday. I'll get thrown in the fire. … I've got to play the top dogs. I've got to bring my A game, and the team's got to bring their A game, and I think it'll be very successful."
Sidney is apparently still fighting off butterflies. He wrote on his Twitter page this morning, "Can't sleep up listening to my R&B so ready to hit that floor tonight :)"
He was asked about Cam Newton's situation and if it bothered him how that worked out. MSU fans have expressed frustration at the Auburn quarterback getting off scot-free (for now).
Sidney: "He was blessed. … He came out on top, and I just thought it wasn't fair what they did to me, but hey, you've got to move on and live life."
The moving on begins tonight at 7 at the Mississippi Coliseum.