Oklahoma basketball: Romero Osby becomes a grown-up

The Sooner senior went through some growing pains before arriving in Norman. Now, he enters his final OU home game as the man ready to lead the team back to the NCAA Tournament.
by Stephanie Kuzydym Published: March 5, 2013
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photo - Baylor Bears' Isaiah Austin reaches around Oklahoma Sooners' Romero Osby (24) in the second half as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) men defeat the Baylor University Bears (BU) 90-76 in NCAA, college basketball at The Lloyd Noble Center on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013  in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Baylor Bears' Isaiah Austin reaches around Oklahoma Sooners' Romero Osby (24) in the second half as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) men defeat the Baylor University Bears (BU) 90-76 in NCAA, college basketball at The Lloyd Noble Center on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

“Mississippi State is a great university,” Shalonda said. “It's the things that transpired down there that nobody should ever be a part of.”

Then Romero transferred to Oklahoma, and on the first day, then-coach Jeff Capel told him he was going to have to work harder.

He spent his first year away from his wife and their newborn daughter. He began to grow and mature. He wasn't a kid anymore.

“When I was at Mississippi State, I could run home whenever I wanted,” he said. “Now, being 10 hours away, I can't go home except maybe once or twice a year.”

He learned how to be a husband and a father, a teammate who players could look to for guidance, as well as a well-developed threat on the court.

“He's matured tremendously,” Oklahoma assistant coach Lew Hill said. “He went from being a young man who didn't understand his potential to realizing his potential. He went from a guy who just wanted to shoot 3s to knowing he's a great inside-outside guy and he starts from the inside. I think he understands his potential and he's grown leaps and bounds, as far as being a leader.”

Osby got a second chance to prove that he could be a great basketball player. This season, he leads the Sooners in scoring (15.2 ppg) and rebounds (7.1 rpg), as well as field-goal percentage (.522). Although there are some first halves where it seems like Osby is having an off game, he has come back in the second half and has led (or tied for the lead) in scoring for 11 of Oklahoma's last 16 games. He is also one of the major reasons the Sooners could reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time in four years.

But he's not one for individual accolades. When Shalonda asks him about the possibility of being a big star in the NBA, Osby told her “if that's God's plan.”

Right now, Romero's all about business on the court and a lot of goofing around, just off of it.

by Stephanie Kuzydym
Reporter
Stephanie Kuzydym learned at a young age that life is a game of inches. That's just one reason why she loves football. Kuzydym joined The Oklahoman in July 2012. Before arriving in the state, Kuzydym was an intern for the sports departments at...
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Oklahoma vs. West Virginia

*When: 8 p.m. Wednesday

*Where: Lloyd Noble Center, Norman

*TV: ESPN2 (Cox 28/HD 721; Dish 144; DirecTV 209; U-Verse 606/HD 1606)

*Radio: KOKC 1520 AM

Three things to know

*This is the first time in Big 12 Conference history that two teams have met three times in one regular season. Oklahoma won both of the previous meetings.

*Oklahoma has scored at least 72 points in its last seven games.

*The Mountaineers rank eighth in the league in scoring (61.1 ppg) and eighth in field-goal percentage (.404).

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