After two seasons as a key reserve, forward Romero Osby is leaving Mississippi State's basketball team in search of a system more suited to his abilities.
"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 told the Daily Journal. "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, a 6-foot-8 rising junior, averaged 4.2 points and 2.6 rebounds per game in his two seasons. He posted 4.3 points and 2.5 boards per game this past season, when State won the SEC Western Division title and reached the second round of the NIT.
Osby recently met with Rick Stansbury and the rest of the coaching staff, and he said they understood what he was doing, and he said there was no problems between him and the coaches. It wasn't an easy decision for Osby.
"It was a pretty tough decision. Like I said, I love Mississippi State, and my dad went there, my grandmother went there. 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."
In a news release, Stansbury said, "Romero is a good kid and I wish him nothing but the best."
So what would be his ideal situation? Something that allowed him to use his array of abilities. While he was used mainly in the post, Osby has a good outside game – he shot a team-leading 41 percent (16 of 39) from 3-point range this past season.
"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," he said.
Osby is free to transfer to any non-SEC program he so wishes, but a condition of his scholarship release is that he must receive approval from MSU if he wants to transfer to a school within the league.
Osby's departure solves MSU's scholarship issue, though – after signing high school guard Jalen Steele a few days ago, MSU was going to be one over the NCAA scholarship limit. But it takes away a key player from what was a think backcourt last season. Jarvis Varnado is headed for the NBA, but Renardo Sidney will be eligible this season, and Elgin Bailey should return from an ankle injury that kept him sidelined.
Osby said the scholarship situation did not affect his decision.
"After I tried it for two years, I felt like I wasn't getting anywhere," Osby said.
Here is a list I whipped together of MSU transfers the past five years. Please let me know if I'm missing someone.
2009: Jacquiese Holcombe (West Texas A&M)
2008: Ben Hansbrough (Notre Dame)
2007: Reginald Delk (Louisville), Richard Delk (Troy), Vernon Goodridge (La Salle), Bernard Rimmer (Georgia State)
2006: Walter Sharpe (UAB)
2005: Gary Ervin (Arkansas)