Virginia in the Hunt for Superstar Recruit Renardo Sidney

Ben GibsonSenior Analyst INovember 10, 2008

As they say, close is only good enough for horseshoes and hand grenades.

Virginia coach Dave Leitao has taken a very bold approach to recruiting while in Charlottesville, taking on the Dukes and North Carolinas of the world head-on.

Leitao has gone after the biggest names, like Eric Wallace, Patrick Patterson, and Ed Davis.  Every time he has gotten to the short list of some of those phenoms but has been unable to seal the deal.

After all, Virginia does have a good basketball history, but it is nothing compared to some of the brass of the ACC.

Well, that's exactly why Virginia may get one of its best recruits since Ralph Sampson.

Sampson was heavily courted by some of the biggest names in college basketball.  Virginia fans realized the enormity of their task, so they thought on a rather large scale.

When Sampson arrived, Virginia fans had painted the roof of University Hall to say "Ralph's House."  When he flew over Charlottesville, Virginia had some of its best advertising in school history.

Well, a new arena might require a new paint job.

Renardo Sidney, a power forward from Fairfax High in California is rated fifth in the country according to and 10th by

The 6'10", 250-lb. senior is certainly courting with some of the biggest names in basketball, like UCLA among others.

However, reports seem to indicate that Sidney is less interested in following the famous footsteps of Kevin Love and setting his own trail like Michael Beasley.

Sidney saw how a talented scorer like Beasley was able to take over the Big 12 and take a school from mediocrity to national relevance.

Sidney thinks that he can accomplish that same task, and that opportunity is clearly something that interests him.

Virginia would certainly be a candidate, having gone to the NCAA tournament just twice this decade.  The Cavaliers are searching for a name to follow up the stellar career of Sean Singletary, and Sidney would fit just the ticket. 

With fellow McDonald's All-American freshman Sylven Landesburg running the point, Virginia could go from the cellar to the top of the ACC standings faster than anyone would have imagined.

Sidney will be at the John Paul Jones Arena for Virginia's game against the explosive offensive game of the VMI Keydets.  It is an opportunity for the Cavaliers to put their best foot forward and Leitao to silence his critics with a major recruiting coup.

It won't be easy, but to be safe, Virginia fans should get their paintbrushes ready.