It isn’t often that skilled 7-footers change teams in today’s world of college basketball, but that is exactly where we find ourselves with Robert Upshaw.
According to a published report from ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, Upshaw is set to transfer from Fresno State up the coast to the University of Washington, and with him, Upshaw brings tantalizing upside. Most recruiting services had the 7-foot, 250-pound Upshaw as a top-50 recruit out of high school in 2012, but he struggled mightily to fit in at Fresno State under head coach Rodney Terry.
According to Goodman, Upshaw declared that Washington was a “better fit” for him, and I would agree with that sentiment. He is a very blessed player physically (despite his modest averages of 4.1 points and 3.8 rebounds a game as a Bulldog), and the overall scheme and talent level are should fit better around his stature at Washington. During his recruitment, Upshaw was considered to be very raw, but his rebounding prowess in limited minutes helps to illustrate how high his ceiling could be in the right spot.
It was very revealing to see Upshaw quoted as saying that he suffered maturity issues, and it seems obvious that the first step toward combating those would be to admit them. Since he has done that, I would look for Upshaw to become a legitimate contributor at UW, and while he’ll likely never be the NBA-caliber player that some expected, Lorenzo Romar is getting a player who could really help that program from the moment he sets foot on campus.