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Originally published September 10, 2013 at 5:54 PM | Page modified September 10, 2013 at 6:49 PM

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Robert Upshaw, a 7-foot center from Fresno State, will transfer to Washington

Robert Upshaw had a rough freshman season at Fresno State and was dismissed from the team in August for violating school policy. The 7-foot center will sit out one year at Washington and be eligible to play three years beginning with the 2013-14 season.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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A year later than planned, the Washington men’s basketball team finally landed Robert Upshaw.

The 7-foot, 250-pound sophomore center, who played at Fresno State last season, told ESPN.com he’s transferring to Washington.

Per NCAA rules, he’ll have to sit out the 2013-14 season and will have three years of eligibility remaining.

The Huskies are making a habit of picking up big-men castoffs. A year ago, they added Perris Blackwell, who played at San Francisco, and Gilles Dierickx from Florida International.

However, Upshaw could be a risky addition.

Upshaw suffered a knee injury early in his freshman season. Then he was suspended twice, missing four games — including the Mountain West Conference tournament. Fresno State dismissed him from the team in August, citing violations of school policy.

He averaged 4.1 points and 3.8 rebounds in 22 games.

“I went through a tough period at Fresno State,” Upshaw told ESPN.com. “I had some maturity problems and didn’t focus on what was in front of me. It all made me realize that I need to focus on what’s important. I love the game.”

The Huskies originally recruited Upshaw when he was a standout at San Joaquin Memorial High in Fresno, Calif. He averaged 18 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks as a senior.

The top recruiting services considered him a four-star prospect. Rivals.com ranked him 52nd nationally, ESPN.com had him at 55 and Scout.com put him 18th on its list of centers.

He initially picked Kansas State, but decommitted when coach Frank Martin left for South Carolina. Upshaw then chose Fresno State over Washington, California and USC.

This time the Huskies beat out Oregon.

“I had a nice visit with both Washington and Oregon,” Upshaw told ESPN.com. “I just felt like Washington was a better fit for me as a player. I liked it there. I felt comfortable and am looking forward to a new start.”

Washington now has the maximum 13 players on scholarship.

The Huskies should be loaded with players who can play center in 2014-15, including Upshaw, junior Shawn Kemp Jr., sophomore Jernard Jarreau, Dierickx and Tristan Etienne, a 2014 prospect who verbally committed to the Huskies.

Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or pallen@seattletimes.com.

On Twitter @percyallen


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