Tar Heels Check Out Osby

Last weekend in Fayetteville, Ark., Romero Osby took the court with Southeast Elite. The 6-8 forward from Meridian (Miss.) Northeast Lauderdale had plenty of time to impress the assembled coaches, fans and scouts. The junior took full advantage of his opportunity as he led Southeast Elite into the semifinals and earned rave reviews for his excellent play.

"He got a little fatigued there in that last game," said his father, Daryl. "He got a little worn down because he had to play the four a little more than he expected to. It seemed like he got to match up with everybody's best interior player."

Despite the fatigue, it was just nice for Osby to be out on the circuit again. Last summer, he missed extensive time due to a broken wrist so he's still re-familiarizing himself with high level club basketball.

"Overall I think he had a good tournament," the senior Osby said. "After he gets used to playing AAU ball again I think he's really going to show people what he's capable of."

Blessed with a frame that is already strong enough to play college hoops, Osby is a bit of a throwback player. Although athletic, he depends more on his high level of skill and versatile game to get the job done. That approach seemed to work with college coaches as well and Osby's phone was ringing off the hook when he got home.

"North Carolina called, Connecticut, Louisville and I believe Ro' said New Mexico State called," his father said. "Of course there's the same schools as always calling, the usual suspects."

By the usual suspects, Osby means programs like Georgia Tech, Kansas, Kentucky, Texas, Mississippi State, Florida, Ole Miss, Alabama and many others who have been recruiting Romero for some time.

In fact, the recent contact from North Carolina wasn't the first time the Osby clan had heard from the Tar Heels.

"Coach Robinson had actually called the first time on Christmas day," said Osby. "He said he had heard about Romero from a Mississippi scouting service and he wanted to get a schedule."

In Fayetteville last weekend, it was assistant coach Joe Holladay who watched Osby play. Apparently he liked what he saw enough that Robinson will be out to see Osby at a tournament in Pittsburgh a little over a week from now.

"I didn't talk to coach Holladay, I just talked to coach Robinson," said Osby. "To me it was more of a thing where they want to evaluate him personally. Coach Robinson couldn't really say more because he hadn't seen him, but he wants to and he'll get to do that in Pittsburgh."

As it stands, the family is just starting to really evaluate all of those who are interested in Romero's skills. Even though he's been known for a while, some programs are just now getting a good look at him because of last summer's injury.

"He's kind of a new name on the scene, so people haven't seen him as much," said Mr. Osby. "Now that he's out there and people see him again they'll come out there and they'll want him. At least that's what's been happening so far."

Because he isn't flashy, Osby tends to be one of those kids that really grows on you the more you see him. It doesn't hurt that he gets excellent grades and is a respectful kid away from the court. That combination will keep the coaches coming as he looks to narrow things down at the end of the summer and set up five official visits.

"As far as Romero goes he's a good kid. It's always "yes sir, no sir" and he gets good grades," said his father. "As a player he can put it on the floor, do it all, play inside and outside."

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