NORMAN — Oklahoma's Romero Osby is all business.
OK, he's really semi-all business. He likes to crack a lot of jokes but only when the time calls for it.
When he and the Sooners play Kansas on Saturday at 3 p.m., Osby will walk onto the court like a businessman, knowing there are a few jobs to get done.
The first is to make shots. Against Iowa State on Monday, he went 2-for-10 from the floor and scored just six points in 28 minutes.
Then, Osby can't allow Kansas' 7-foot center Jeff Withey to get in his head again like he did in the teams' first matchup on Jan. 26.
If all that goes right, the last part of the game plan is to close out the game against the nation's fifth-ranked team, which has dropped its last two games.
“I've put in so much hard work in the offseason and summertime and all the way up to this point,” Osby said. “I just want to win. I want to take care of business and I want to play well.
“Even though sometimes I know that I might not play well but as long as we win, that is the most important thing. Every time we step on the court, I take the opportunity to show what I can do and what my team can do.”
The self-proclaimed hardworking, nose to the grindstone Oklahoma forward credits his business attitude, he said, to several things. This is his last shot. His last chance to win games that will place his team and him into the NCAA Tournament.
But the even bigger reason is Osby is a father and a husband. He has to make business decisions for his family team just like he does for his Oklahoma team.
“From a father and a husband standpoint, it's serious. It's really serious,” Osby said. “Next year ... my wife will still be working, but it will be on me to take care of my family. Having them out here has helped me get used to that from now.”
Osby's wife, Shalonda, works as a leasing agent at an apartment complex in Norman. She moved to Oklahoma from Mississippi in Dec. 2011. The two were married in May 2012.
“It's kind of the same that you've got to be a leader on the court and off the court,” Osby said. “You've got to be patient. I can talk to say something to my wife that maybe I can't say to (Andrew Fitzgerald) in the sense of Fitz is a different type of person and I may approach him a different way than my wife.”
Like a businessman, Osby is constantly analyzing — be it numbers, schemes or personalities.
The senior forward looks serious, if not boring.
Or as senior guard Steven Pledger puts it, “like an old man.”
“He just acts like an old guy, but he's cool though,” Pledger said. “He's funny.”
Pledger and Fitzgerald mentioned different points in practice when Osby drops his guard and acts a little silly.
“He slips tiny jokes into practice here or there,” Fitzgerald said.
Osby admitted he's not all serious all the time. Especially when it comes to his daughter, Saniya.
“She doesn't know if he won or lost,” Pledger said of the way Osby acts at home. “She doesn't really care. He's humble about it. Every time with her is just playtime.”
No. 5 Kansas vs. Oklahoma
*When: 3 p.m. Saturday
*Where: Norman, Okla. (Lloyd Noble Center – 12,000)
*Radio: KOKC 1520 AM (OKC), KTBZ 1430 AM (Tulsa); Sirius 91; XM 91
THREE THINGS TO KNOW
*Despite opening the season with 18 consecutive win, Kansas has dropped their last two Big 12 games – against Oklahoma State and TCU.
*Oklahoma is averaging 57 points and shooting .375 from the field in the past two games in which the Sooners scored 114 points. It's the lowest two-game total of the season.
*A win against the Jayhawks would be the Sooners' first home victory against Kansas since Feb. 21, 2005.