OU basketball notebook: Osby's big turnaround
BY GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Sunday, February 10, 2013
2/10/13 at 6:38 AM
John E. Hoover: Bill Self is not giving up on his Kansas team
OU gets a win worth celebrating in downing No. 5 Kansas
Two weeks ago in Lawrence, forward Romero Osby made 4-of-16 shots against Kansas center Jeff Withey as Oklahoma fell 67-54.
"A lot of people have been asking me about the game we played up there," Osby said. "I didn't play particularly well. I was kind of down on myself and frustrated with myself. Coach told me, 'Hey, you're not going to make every shot. Don't worry about it, just stay in the gym.' That's what I did."
The practice and patience paid off Saturday. Osby, working against Withey once more, made 6-of-8 shots and scored a game-high 17 points in OU's 72-66 victory.
"I had a lot of opportunities to drive him today because I made my first few jump shots," he said, "which is how you have to play against him."
Osby came out cold at Allen Fieldhouse and never warmed. That allowed Withey to stay on top of him. Saturday, he made all three of his first-half shots, including OU's first 3-pointer less than three minutes after tipoff.
That unsettled Withey, and the 7-foot center finished with just one blocked shot.
"I knew he was going to do that. He did that when he was in the Fieldhouse," Withey said. "He's a great player. He hit shots today. That was frustrating, but what can you do?"
Two huge 3s: Kansas' best chance to tie the score in Saturday's second half came with 4:13 remaining, when Travis Releford missed the second of his two free throws.
OU took possession and Je'lon Hornbeak missed a 3. Osby skied near the free-throw line, grabbed the rebound and kicked it over to Steven Pledger.
"I just tried to keep my feet moving and my hands ready," Pledger said. "That's been a big problem for me this year. I haven't been ready for many passes. I just tried to stay ready for that one."
He was ready, and his basket gave OU a 63-59 lead.
With 1:40 to go, Withey's dunk pulled Kansas within 63-61. The Sooners came down, and Osby passed up a decent look at a 3 to give Hornbeak a better one.
At that point, Hornbeak had only attempted the 3 he missed before Osby's big offensive board.
"I passed up a couple trying to get 'Ro' going," Hornbeak said. "He just told me, 'Be ready to shoot. Get your feet ready.' The coaches were all behind me. When Coach (Lon) Kruger put me in the game, he said, 'Be ready. There's going to be a time where you have to knock a shot down.' Steve (Pledger) is always on my back, telling me, 'Big players make big shots.'"
Kansas forward Kevin Young and OU forward Amath M'Baye chase a loose ball in the first half Saturday in Norman. SUE OGROCKI / Associated Press