Former University of Washington center Robert Upshaw and Eastern Washington guard Tyler Harvey were among 48 underclassmen who declared themselves eligible for the NBA draft, along with 43 international players, the NBA said Tuesday. The June 21 draft has 60 selections over two rounds.
The 7-foot-1 Upshaw, a transfer, was leading the nation in blocked shots and helped the Huskies to an 11-0 start before coach Lorenzo Romar kicked him off the team Jan. 26 for an unspecified violation of team rules. ESPN.com reported that Upshaw had multiple violations of drug-use policies at Washington and his previous school, Fresno State.
Harvey was the nation’s leading scorer at 23 points a game and led Eastern to the second NCAA tourney berth in its history.
A complete list of the early entry candidates can be found here.
Upshaw won’t get drafted. He can go to the NBDL or overseas but the NBA won’t waste a draft pick on him. Harvey will get drafted but hard to say where.
C’mon, man, this is the NBA. How many times have we seen teams pick players with well-documented issues because they’re looking at skills and not paying attention to the off-court stuff? If some team really wants a 7’1″ shotblocker, they’ll take Upshaw and worry about what else he brings to the table when the police reports start coming in.
He’ll get a look but I’d be surprised if he’s drafted since there’s only two rounds now. Upshaw played only parts of two seasons and didn’t display much scoring ability. He plays like a big man but at 6’10” that’s the height of some small forwards. (Rashard Lewis for example) Upshaw never even made All-Conference at Fresno or UW. He can be brought in as a free agent with no commitment. I think teams would rather see him probe himself at the NBDL level first.
Well, we’ll all find out in June. FWIW, Draft Express projects Upshaw as the #30 pick in June. I don’t think he’ll go that high, but some team will probably take a second-round flier on him. If nothing else, Upshaw makes a real difference inside and it wasn’t a shock that the Huskies’ season went downhill after he was kicked off the team because what little interior defense they had left with him…the shock (to me) was how his former teammates collectively quit down the stretch.
IMO, the players that left may have been gently nudged out the door rather than choosing to leave.
No argument on that point. There seems to be a general housecleaning going on. Kudos to Romar for making what had to be a tough decision to cut Upshaw loose and perhaps following up by encouraging the other malcontents to find another place to take their talents…the wolves will be baying for his firing, per usual, but what’s happening now needed to happen.
You nailed it when you said they quit down the stretch. To his credit Coach Romar didn’t go ballistic. Didn’t do a Bryan Price on the team. He stayed positive, honest, and quietly did his job. If anything I’d love to know if he talked to anyone as a sounding board on this. He’s mentioned Jim Boeheim but he’s got his hands full right now. But he’s made big decisions that really took some courage to do.
In fairness, they started to lose before he got the boot. Don’t know yet what the internal drama was.
NBDL is more likely than 2nd round, and he’s a legit 7-footer.
I have to side with Radio, J. Upshaw can change games. Whether he can stay off drugs is another matter, but NBA coaches always think they can fix guys. And if they can’t . . . next man up.