Osby Transferring From Mississippi State

Add Romero Osby's name to the annual list of underclassman Bulldogs departing the basketball program early. A team spokesman confirmed Friday afternoon that the sophomore forward is leaving Mississippi State.

Osby, a 6-8 forward from Meridian, played in 35 games this past season at both forward slots with three starts. Those were consecutively, against Kentucky, LSU, and Alabama in a February stretch. For the year he averaged 4.3 points and 2.5 rebounds. His best performance came against DePaul with 13 points and seven rebounds; while he had 11 points at home against Auburn for his only SEC double-digit outing.

Coach Rick Stansbury asked through the p.r. office not to be contacted by media, instead issuing a statement. A short one. "Romero is a good kid, and I wish him nothing but the best."p> Osby's departure is nothing new for this program, which has lost at least one underclassman each spring though usually from the backcourt. Last year, transfer guard Jacquiese Holcombe left after a junior season limited to seven games by injury. He is at West Texas now. In 2008 it was a pair of starters as Jamont Gordon left after his junior year for professional ball in Europe; and guard Ben Hansbrough transferring after two seasons. He started this winter at Notre Dame and played in the NCAA Tournament. In 2007 it was twin brother guards Reginald and Richard Delk; the former went to Louisville and played this year on a NCAA tourney team, while Richard's Troy squad lost in their conference title game.

The last frontcourt player, or players, to step away from State early were in 2007 also, as backup center Vernon Goodridge and forward Bernard Rimmer transferred.

While Osby's loss leaves the 2010-11 frontcourt thinner than expected, Stansbury's chief worry was solved when redshirt forward/center Renardo Sidney declined to put his name in for early NBA draft consideration. Sidney, who sat out his freshman year and will still serve a 30%-season suspension to begin his sophomore winter, is key to all plans for the rebuilt roster.

State did have two backcourt Bulldogs toss their names into the NBA consideration, though; point guard Dee Bost and shooting forward Ravern Johnson. Most expect Bost's declaration to be merely a testing of his value, strengths, and deficits as a professional prospect in 2011 and that he will be back for a junior season. Though, by declaring for the first time, Bost would have to stay in the draft in '11 whatever the result.

Johnson, a senior-to-be, might be more likely to bolt a year early based on age and willingness to leave school. Both have until May 8 to withdraw their names.

Should both return, Osby's departure does solve one other annual situation of Bulldog basketball: an over-signed roster. State graduated two seniors, center Jarvis Varnado and guard Barry Stewart, off this past year's NIT-entrant team but only Stewart was on scholarship. That left a dozen players on grants, and Stansbury has signed two additions which would have left MSU over the NCAA's limit of 13. That limit only applies at the start of a new school year.

The additions, juco guard Brian Bryant and prep guard Jalen Steele, now fill the other scholarship slots for 2010-11.

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