Kansas State picked up a huge commitment in November when 7-foot, 275 pound center Robert Upshaw (San Joaquin Memorial/CA) decided to commit to the Wildcats over Fresno State, Georgetown and Louisville.
The No. 60 rated player by ESPN and No. 43 rated by Rivals, has averaged around 17 points, 11.4 rebounds and 4.3 blocks per game this year. The four-star center has led his team to a 16-7 record and 7-0 league record.
“He’s playing very well,” his coach Patrick Geil said. “He’s had six triple double’s this season. He’s the most dominant player physically in the state, maybe the country.”
This is great news for the Wildcats who are in desperate need of a potent shot-blocker to protect the rim next to Jordan Henriquez. Upshaw should fill that void with his ability to play physical, protect the basket and score the ball efficiently down low. In fact, out of 23 games this season, Upshaw has had more than five blocks in 12 games.
This season, Upshaw is shooting around 60 percent from the field. Doing so against some insurmountable pressure. “He’s scoring off double and triple teams,” his coach said. “[He] gets beat up unlike any other high school player I’ve ever seen.”
This includes a 28 point and 22 rebound game, both season-highs, that included him shooting 64 percent from the field and 91 percent from the free-throw line.
When Upshaw signed with Kansas State, head coach Frank Martin put the 7-foot center in a world of his own. “Robert gives us by far the biggest young man that we have signed in our time here in terms if height, length and size,” coach Martin said. “He is every bit of seven feet tall and maybe even a little taller with great hands, great natural ability and somebody that we are extremely excited about because he will be a big time presence at the rim to help the guys that are in place right now and to continue to add more depth at our frontline.”
Upshaw, who is dominating high school right now, will be an extraordinary interior force for Kansas State. The Wildcats are already considered on of the top defenses in the Big 12 along with the being the top rebounding program in the conference. Upshaw will come in and help the Wildcats stay atop on the conference charts as well as sparking Kansas State down low with his ability to score the basketball and protect the rim.
Upshaw is an intriguing prospect and one that can step in day one and start for the Wildcats. From the looks of it, the Wildcats have started to focus on their 2013 class after adding Upshaw and Laimonas Chatkevicius. Next season could be a magical one for the Wildcats with then-seniors Rodney McGruder, Jeremy Jones, Jordan Henriquez, James Watson and Martavious Irving leading the way for Kansas State with the underclassmen helping out.