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Oklahoma basketball: Romero Osby finally feels at home

After a rough start at Mississippi State, the junior feels comfortable in Norman
BY ANTHONY SLATER, Staff Writer, aslater@opubco.com Published: September 15, 2012

Capel was fired by Oklahoma on March 14, 2011. Lon Kruger was hired as the Sooners' next basketball coach two weeks later.

“Coach Capel was a great coach to me and a great guy who brought me in,” Osby said. “But once I did some research, and my dad already knew who Coach Kruger was, I was put at ease.”

And one meeting with Kruger, where the coach worked him out one-on-one, confirmed Osby's positive feelings.

“He was rebounding for me, running all over the gym, and that made me respect him,” Osby said. “At his age, he didn't have to do that. As long as he's been around, he didn't have to do that. But for him to do that, it showed me what kind of person he was and sold me.”

So Osby showed Kruger what kind of player he had become.

Last season, as a junior, the 6-foot-8 junior was finally given an opportunity to shine. Starting all 31 games, he averaged 12.9 points and a team-leading 7.3 rebounds, earning honorable mention All-Big 12. He scored in double-digits in each of the final seven games.

“It almost felt like my freshman year,” Osby said. “It was my first time playing significant minutes and having a key role on the team.”

And now, far removed from his two-year downward spiral at Mississippi State, Osby feels ready for huge senior season.

His stated team goals — “a Big 12 championship and NCAA berth.” His stated individual goals — “Big 12 player of the year.”

And he wants to do it all at the place he calls his new home.

“My wife's here, my daughter's here, we live here,” Osby said. “Norman, Oklahoma, is where we live. It feels kind of weird, but at the same time, I've loved and enjoyed my three years here and I want to end it the right way.”