UW Huskies Insider

Tag: Robert Upshaw

June
25th

Ex-Husky Robert Upshaw goes undrafted

Robert Upshaw’s dismissal from the University of Washington men’s basketball program might have cost him more than most analysts projected.

The talented but troubled 7-footer was not selected during Thursday’s NBA draft in New Jersey.

That rates as somewhat of a surprise, considering many mock drafts still included Upshaw’s name – mostly in the second round – in the week leading up to the draft, and though he was dismissed from two college programs in the past three years, his size and talent as a shot-blocker seemed too tantalizing for all 30 teams to pass up.

But all 60 picks – which included 10 centers – passed without Upshaw’s name being called. His off-court troubles – which he admitted recently included drug abuse – might have contributed to such a precipitous fall, though Upshaw was also reportedly flagged for a heart issue earlier this month at the NBA draft combine and had to suspend his training for a time because of it.

His agent, Bill Duffy, told DraftExpress.com that Upshaw was already aware of the condition and that doctors had cleared him to play with it in the past, but it’s possible that it caused some teams to stay away. Read more »

June
24th

Looking at Robert Upshaw’s projected status on eve of NBA draft

Washington's Robert Upshaw in action against Oregon State in an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Washington’s Robert Upshaw in action against Oregon State in an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

There was a time early in the 2014-15 season when it seemed former Washington Huskies center Robert Upshaw had a chance to hear his name called in the first round of the NBA draft, which commences 4 p.m. Thursday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn (ESPN).

And while that’s still considered possible, many projections have Upshaw, the 7-footer who set UW’s single-season blocks record in just 19 games, somewhere in the second round, where he’s viewed as a “boom or bust” prospect.

That seems to be somewhat of a consensus — that Upshaw’s talent as a shot-blocking defensive star earns him consideration as a first-rounder, but that his troubled past, including dismissals from both Fresno State and Washington, might make teams a little nervous about investing in him with a guaranteed contract. He’s since opened up about battling drug addiction, which he speaks about in some depth in this Fox Sports story. An excerpt: Read more »

May
15th

Checking in on Robert Upshaw at NBA draft combine

Washington's Robert Upshaw in action against Oregon State in an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Washington’s Robert Upshaw in action against Oregon State in an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

It’s been a while since we’ve heard much from former Washington Huskies center Robert Upshaw, who blocked 85 shots in 19 games last season before being dismissed from the team on Jan. 26.

But with the NBA draft combine commencing this week in Chicago, Upshaw, a possible first-round pick, has emerged as one of the draft’s more intriguing prospects. And he’s opening up some about the problems that led to his departure from Washington.

In this interview filmed by Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, Upshaw talks about his path to the draft, what went wrong at UW, and what he’s done since to remedy his off-court problems. He said he’s conducted interviews with several teams already, and many of them, predictably, have asked some variation of “what happened?” in regard to his dismissal from UW (and, I would imagine, his previous dismissal from Fresno State).

Upshaw said he’s had “a lot of education around drugs and alcohol,” in addition to working out at the Peak Performance Project (P3) in Santa Barbara, California. Read more »

Jan.
28th

Morning links: Robert Upshaw reportedly considering the D-League

Good morning. Washington and Stanford will play a basketball game at Hec Edmundson Pavilion in about 14 hours. Until then, have some links. And maybe three meals.

Here’s our story in today’s newspaper, looking at where the Huskies stand, personnel-wise, without Upshaw. Read more »

Jan.
27th

Lorenzo Romar on Robert Upshaw: ‘Any time it doesn’t work out with a part of your family, you’re disappointed’

Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar declined to offer any specifics on the dismissal of star center Robert Upshaw, saying again that he didn’t want to comment on the circumstances that led to the decision.

But he did offer some thoughts on how Upshaw’s departure will impact the Huskies going forward, and expressed disappointment that the Huskies and Upshaw couldn’t make it work.

“Any time it doesn’t work out with a part of your family, you’re disappointed. There’s no doubt,” Romar said. “I do know where things were when he first came, and I know where things are now. Even though it didn’t work out here, I still think he grew a lot while he was here, and that’s really important.”

Later, Romar added: “I think you always try to go to whatever length possible, if someone is wanting it, to try to help someone get to the finish line, and sometimes, like in this case, it just came to a point where it didn’t seem like that was going to happen.” Read more »

Jan.
27th

Morning links: More thoughts on Robert Upshaw’s dismissal, plus links

One day, Robert Upshaw was blocking shots and grabbing rebounds for the Washington Huskies against the Utah Utes. Fewer than 24 hours later, he was dismissed from the program for violating team rules.

Read on for some additional thoughts on how his dismissal will impact the Huskies, as well as some links.

— Don’t think there’s any question that this is the most significant in-season player departure in Romar’s career at Washington. On the court, Upshaw turned out to be everything the Huskies hoped he would be, and a lot of that obviously showed up on defense, where the 7-footer blocked 84 shots in 19 games — a single-season school record by a margin of 17 — and forced opposing offenses to alter their gameplan around his presence. It’s really not possible to overstate how much the Huskies are going to miss him on both ends of the court (he averaged 10.8 points and 8.3 rebounds, too), especially without any kind of depth behind him in the frontcourt. These are their available scholarship players, at least until Jernard Jarreau returns from injury: Nigel Williams-Goss, Andrew Andrews, Mike Anderson, Shawn Kemp Jr., Donaven Dorsey, Darin Johnson, Quevyn Winters and Gilles Dierickx. I’d expect Dorsey to step into the starting lineup, likely at the 4 spot, though Anderson obviously has experience playing there, too. Read more »

Jan.
26th

Robert Upshaw’s dismissal puts Huskies in precarious spot

Washington's Robert Upshaw dunks the ball in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Eastern Washington, Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014 in Seattle. Washington won the game 81-77 and Upshaw came off the bench to lead Washington in scoring with 21 points. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Washington’s Robert Upshaw dunks the ball in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Eastern Washington, Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014 in Seattle.  (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

SEATTLE – Robert Upshaw stood outside Washington’s locker room on Sunday at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, vowing that the Huskies would work harder in practice this week to atone for their 77-56 loss at No. 12 Utah.

He spoke passionately – frustrated by the loss, but optimistic about the future.

“I believe in all my teammates,” said Upshaw, who scored 13 points, grabbed nine rebounds and blocked five shots in the game. “They believe in me, and I’m not going to give up on them. Whether they have a bad day or they put their head down, I’m not going to give up on them.”

After he answered questions from reporters, the star 7-footer walked up the arena’s long tunnel and boarded the team bus for the airport, where a charter flight transported the Huskies men’s basketball team back to Seattle.

Nobody knew at the time that it would be the final trip of Upshaw’s UW career.

On Monday afternoon, fewer than 24 hours after the team returned home from Salt Lake City, UW announced that Upshaw, the nation’s leading shot-blocker who came to the Huskies after a troubled freshman season at Fresno State, had been dismissed from the program for an unspecified violation of team rules.

Just like that, Washington’s already uncertain path to the NCAA tournament has taken a disastrous turn.

“We wish Rob well as he moves forward in his life,” UW coach Lorenzo Romar said in a statement, “and we will do our best to support him in the future.” Read more »

Jan.
26th

Huskies star center Robert Upshaw dismissed for violating team rules

Robert Upshaw, the Washington Huskies’ third-year sophomore center, has been dismissed from the men’s basketball program for violating team rules, UW announced.

Upshaw scored 13 points, grabbed nine rebounds and blocked five shots in UW’s game at Utah on Sunday night. He spoke with reporters afterward before the Huskies boarded their bus for the airport, where they boarded a charter flight back to Seattle.

On Monday afternoon, UW released the following statement:

University of Washington sophomore center Robert Upshaw has been dismissed from the program for a violation of team rules, head coach Lorenzo Romar announced on Monday.

“We wish Rob well as he moves forward in his life, and we will do our best to support him in the future,” said Romar.

Romar, Washington players and other UW athletic department officials will have no further comment on the matter.

Read more »