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Romero Osby Leading Oklahoma Resurgence
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Wendell Barnhouse is a nationally-known and respected columnist who has spent over 20 years covering collegiate athletics. He has reported from 25 Final Fours and more than three dozen bowl games and has written about the Big 12 and its schools since the conference's beginning. Barnhouse will be updating the Big 12 Insider on happenings and behind-the-scenes information about the conference.

Jason King of ESPN.com, in his weekly column about college basketball, took a portion of his report to write about Oklahoma senior Romero Osby.

The hiring of Lon Kruger before last season is certainly the biggest factor in Oklahoma's resurgence. But a large of amount of credit should also be given to power forward Romero Osby, who is quietly having one of the better seasons of any player in the Big 12.

Osby scored 29 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in Monday's 73-67 victory over Texas and is averaging 19.2 points and 7.2 rebounds in his last five games. A senior, Osby transferred to OU in 2010 after spending two seasons as a role player at Mississippi State.

"I want to make it to the tournament," he said. "I got to go when I was at Mississippi State but I wasn't a significant part of that team.

"I've been trying to go hard every day in practice. I went hard all summer, working harder than I've ever worked in my life. Things have just been clicking for me."

Osby, who is averaging 14.5 points and 6.5 boards on the season, said some changes to his diet have helped enhance his game. He said he's sworn off Kool-Aid and fried foods (at least for now) and instead opts for healthier options.

"I mainly drink water and Gatorade," he said. "In Mississippi, all we eat is fried food. But I can't do that right now. I went from 245 to 227 over the summer and it's made a big difference. I'm just spending more time in the gym running and getting up shots and ball-handling."

Osby said the addition of Wyoming transfer Amath M'Baye has also helped detract attention away from in the paint. So has a new-and-improved backcourt that features Buddy Hield and Je'lon Hornbeak.

Oklahoma is 13-4 overall and 4-1 in Big 12 play. The Sooners' next two games are road tilts against Kansas and Baylor.

"We're trying to take it one day at a time," Osby said. "People are patting us on our back and telling us we're doing well. But we have 14 games left. The storm is about to hit. We've got to go to Kansas and we've got to go to Baylor. We know we can't rest on our laurels."

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