Osby Remains Open, Feeling the Love From KU

After taking some time off due to the completion of his high school season, junior Romero Osby finally had the chance to hit the court again last weekend. Playing with Southeast Elite, the 6-8 forward from Meridian (MS) Northeast Lauderdale hit the ground running at the Real Deal on the Hill in Fayetteville, AR. Phog.net was on hand to catch up with him and find out the latest on his recruitment.

“Since the high school season there hasn’t been a lot of action,” said Romero Osby. “I’ve just stayed busy with school, working out and lifting weights and everything. But it’s nice to have some action now.”

Easy with a smile, intelligent and well spoken, Osby is just as impressive off the court as he is on the court. However, he is fully aware that it’s his basketball skills that are drawing coaches and scouts out to watch him. Because of that, it’s important to him to prove that he’s worthy of the attention he’s been getting.

“I want to have fun out there,” Osby told Phog.Net. “But, at the same time I want to prove to everybody that I’m one of the top players in the country and that I can play with anybody.”

One school in particular that has been aggressive in their pursuit of Osby is Kansas. Head coach Bill Self was on hand to watch  him play Saturday before he was relieved by assistant Joe Dooley on Sunday. Just a few weeks ago, those two plus newly appointed assistant Danny Manning were in Meridian to see him.

From the sounds of it, they made an impression.

“It was real nice, especially to see Danny Manning,” said Osby. “He’s an NBA all-star and maybe even a hall of famer, it was a real good experience for me and it meant a lot for all of them to come to Mississippi. I knew they were coming to see me, but it was a surprise to see all of them.”

Of course, Kansas isn’t the only high level program to express their interest in Osby. Among the others who have been ardent in their pursuit are Texas, Florida, Memphis, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Tennessee,  and Alabama. Additionally, Osby says that he’s now interested in Kentucky after the hiring of Billy Gillispie and there has been some indication that North Carolina may be looking to get a little more involved after watching him in Fayetteville.

So, with so many quality programs pursuing Osby, how exactly does Bill Self and his staff try to separate KU from the others.

“I think they’ve made me one of their top priorities, if not number one then either number one or two with Willie Warren,” said Osby of the Jayhawks approach. “That’s what they tell me, that me and Willie are their top priorities. I don’t think they have a favorite between us and they like both of us equally.”

Of course, Osby has some priorities when it comes to looking at the schools recruiting him. Maybe most important is where he’ll get to play once he gets to college.

“First of all they need to let me play my position, which is small forward,” said Osby. “A lot of people see my size at 6-8 and 230 pounds and they say ok he’s a power forward. But, my game goes way farther than a power forward’s does

“I’ve really worked to develop. When I first started off I was always in the post because I was the tallest. But I’ve worked to expand my game out to shooting from the mid range, shooting threes and being able to pass.”

According to Osby, no favorites have emerged at this point and he’s doing his best to evaluate schools equally. As it turns out, he’s in no rush to make a decision.

“Towards the end of the summer I’d like to narrow it down,” said Osby of his decision. “When I do that I’ll cut it to the five schools that I’m going to take my official visits to, that’s the way it’s going to be.”

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