VYPE Oklahoma Sites
Second Chance Paying off for OU, Osby
March 20, 2012By VYPE Oklahoma of VYPE University Oklahoma
By Lynn Jacobsen
All Romero Osby was looking for was a second chance.
Enter the University of Oklahoma which was in need of some inside presence.
The 6-foot-8 Osby was initially recruited out of North Lauderdale (Miss.) High School by former Sooner coach Jeff Capel.
But he signed with Mississippi State instead. After two seasons in which he played sparingly (averaging 4.2 points and 2.6 rebounds), he exited the SEC school. After sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer regulations, Osby is making the most of his second opportunity.
“OU was one of the bigger schools that recruited me out of high school and one of my top five schools,” said Osby, who has started all 30 games this season. “I maintained my relationship with coach Capel and when he offered me a chance to play basketball, I took it. All I want is a chance.”
Osby is coming off a career-high 24 points in the Sooners’ win over Texas A&M on Saturday; the same team OU will open Big 12 Conference Tournament play against on Wednesday. The two teams tip off at 6:05 p.m.
“Coach (Lon Kruger) gave me confidence on being more aggressive and getting low and strong,” Osby said after the win Saturday. “My teammates are doing a good job of encouraging me to score and stuff like that. When you have support and stuff like that, sometimes it just takes over to where you can just play at any type of level. I am just blessed to have people around me to encourage me to do better offensively.”
Osby earned All-Big 12 honorable mention honors after averaging 14.0 points and a team-best 6.5 rebounds in conference play.
Kruger likes the matchup problems Osby poses for opponents.
“He’s a tough match-up,” the OU coach said. “Roe has that really strong, athletic body but also can move to the perimeter and knock down jumpers. That combination of talent makes him a tough to guard.”
Osby jokes that he’s a perimeter guy in a power forward body. Then turns serious when he says he will do whatever he can to make the Sooners better.
“I’ll do what my team needs me to do, but I feel like I can step out and hit a jumper,” Osby said. “I can guard perimeter players too. If my team needs me to be the power guy, I’ll do that. If they need me to step out and hit a jumper or make a play off the dribble, I can do that too.”
Kruger seems pleased with what Osby brings to the squad.
“Romero has done a terrific job,” Kruger said. “His priorities are in order; he’s very sincere about a team-first attitude. He’s a guy that (team) means a lot to and when we play well, he’s excited for the team. When we lose, it probably hurts him deeper than normal.
“Having played two years at Mississippi State and having sat out last year here, his perspective is good on things. He’s probably has little bit more mature outlook and has his priorities in order.”
Osby credits his maturity to positive changes in his personal life.
“I’m a father now,” he said. “My daughter Saniya, age 2, and my fiancé, Shalonda Truman, live with me. It’s incredible to come home and see my baby girl smiling at me. It doesn’t matter what kind of day I’m having, her smile just makes me smile.
“I have to hold myself accountable now, personally and on the basketball team. In high school, I would get on guys for not doing something. But what I found is if you are going to be a leader, you have to look at yourself first, point fingers at yourself first. I enjoy being vocal and being a leader with my teammates.”