By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
STARKVILLE – After two years at Mississippi State, Romero Osby believes his career needs a new setting if it’s going to blossom.
The 6-foot-8 forward, a rising junior and a key reserve both of his seasons in Starkville, said Friday he is transferring out of the MSU basketball program. Osby said he had no rift with his coaches or teammates, but he felt like he wasn’t fitting in.
“It wasn’t that I wasn’t being used to my best potential, I just felt like the system wasn’t the best fit for my game,” Osby said. “The players that were playing in front of me, that was no knock on them. I just felt like I didn’t really have an opportunity because of the system.”
Osby averaged 4.2 points and 2.6 rebounds in 71 career games, drawing just three starts. He played the three and four spots on the floor and was both an inside and outside threat.
Osby hit a team-best 41 percent from 3-point range last season.
He’s not sure where he is transferring to, but he knows what he’s looking for in a team.
“I felt like my versatility needed to be a little more displayed and showcased, and that’s what I’m looking for in the next program I go to,” Osby said.
As a condition of his scholarship release, Osby cannot transfer to an SEC school without MSU’s approval. He can transfer to any non-SEC school he likes, but he must sit out a year, per NCAA rules, if he winds up at another Division I program.
When Osby met with head coach Rick Stansbury and the rest of the staff, he said that “they understood, and they handled it like gentlemen, and so did I.”
In a statement, Stansbury said, “Romero is a good kid, and I wish him nothing but the best.”
Osby was a standout at Northeast Lauderdale High School in Meridian, where he was a two-time all-state selection and played in the 2008 Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Game.
“Like I said, I love Mississippi State, and my dad went there, my grandmother went there,” he said. “But sometimes in life you have to sacrifice certain things. So it was something I had to sacrifice and find a better situation for myself.”
Osby’s departure does resolve an issue for Stansbury. When high school guard Jalen Steele signed with MSU 11 days ago, that put the Bulldogs one over the NCAA-mandated scholarship limit for the 2010-11 school year.
But it makes State even thinner in the post. Jarvis Varnado is headed for the pros, but the Bulldogs will have Renardo Sidney now that his eligibility issue is resolved, and Elgin Bailey should return from an ankle injury.
Osby is the ninth player to transfer out of Stansbury’s program since 2005.
Guards Dee Bost and Ravern Johnson have put their names on the NBA Draft early entry list but are expected to return to school.
Contact Brad Locke at 678-1571 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Out the door
– A look at players who have transferred from MSU over the past five years:
2010: Romero Osby (undecided)
2009: Jacquiese Holcombe (West Texas Aamp&M)
2008: Ben Hansbrough (Notre Dame)
2007: Reginald Delk (Louisville), Richard Delk (Troy), Bernard Rimmer (Georgia State)
2006: Walter Sharpe (UAB)
2005: Gary Ervin (Arkansas)