Romero Osby sat in a black chair with a stern face, as his teammates surrounding him seemed to sink back in the gray cubbyholes of their lockers at Kansas City's Sprint Center.
Osby was prepared to answer the questions of Oklahoma's loss to Iowa State in the quarterfinal round of the Big 12 Championship on Wednesday. What happened? Why did it happen?
Although he is one of the Sooners' three captains, Osby is the one who answers the most for the team, who has emerged as the leader and who can be credited as the reason for its recent success — and recent stumbles.
But the real question is this: What has happened to Romero Osby?
Oklahoma's senior forward has been struggling of late. In the Sooners' loss at TCU, he struggled right along with his teammates to beat a Horned Frogs squad that only lost one other Big 12 game. In that outing, Osby scored 19 points, but only three of them came in the first half, when the Sooners needed a lift.
Against Iowa State, a guy off the bench almost outshined Osby. Osby came out and scored 12 in the first half but didn't make a basket in the final nine minutes of the game. He ended with 18 points and nine rebounds, but Cam Clark aided the team just as much even though he played 15 fewer minutes than Osby. Clark got hot late in the second and added 17 points and four rebounds.
On top of that, Osby also uncharacteristically complained about fouls and the officiating.
“It was just a tough game,” he said. “I gotta keep my composure and not get frustrated, but at the same time I just felt like I was getting hit a lot, but they were getting hit too. ...