Robert Upshaw, Washington’s 7-foot sophomore center who leads the nation in blocked shots, has been dismissed from the program for an unspecified violation of team rules, UW coach Lorenzo Romar announced Monday afternoon.
It’s the second program from which Upshaw has been dismissed. He landed at UW after being booted at Fresno State following his freshman season.
“We wish Rob well as he moves forward in his life, and we will do our best to support him in the future,” Romar said in a statement.
Romar would not be available for further comment, the statement read.
While he was redshirting at UW last season, Upshaw’s future with the Huskies was uncertain midway through the 2013-14 season after he was prohibited from attending practices or games. Romar said later that Upshaw needed time to focus on off-the-court issues.
He had seemed to turn things around this season while leading the nation with 4.5 blocks per game. He also led UW with 8.2 rebounds per game and was third on the team with 10.9 points per game, shooting 59.3 percent from the field.
“I just got tired of being talked about and not in good way,” Upshaw told The Seattle Times earlier this month. “I got tired of being average. I got tired of being somebody’s joke. Everybody come into the room and it’s ‘Ha-ha. He did this today.’ But it wasn’t anything about basketball.
“Now when you walk into a room and you talk about Robert Upshaw it’s ‘This kid is the top sixth man in the country or the best shot blocker in the country.’ That’s what I like to hear. That’s what I want to be a part of. I’m tired of being average. I put my average ways behind me and now I’m striving to be great.”
Both Upshaw and Romar had talked this season about how the 21-year-old center had matured.
“I’m a completely different person,” Upshaw said earlier this month. “I’ve matured. I’ve become a lot more coachable. I have the trust of my teammates and my coaches to do the right things. I’m just a completely different player. I put in all of my work over the summer to become the best player I need to be and I feel like I’m doing my thing right now.”
Upshaw had 13 points, nine rebounds and five blocks in his final game for UW, a 77-56 loss at Utah on Sunday.