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Former K-State commit Upshaw's career at a crossroads

Once committed to play at Kansas State for Frank Martin, Robert Upshaw is now looking for his third team, or maybe a jump to the NBA, after a second program dismissal.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Upshaw isn't a classic case of "what might have been." We've seen what he is.

After a knee injury and two suspensions before a dismissal at Fresno State, the 7-footer exploded this year at Washington, averaging 10.9 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.4 blocks while leading the nation in that category. At times this season, he was flat dominant.

Upshaw, however, has become a "Will he ever get it together?" as he now has racked up reported failed drug tests as a Bulldog and a Huskie. He blamed "immaturity" and "bad choices" for his past problems, but here he is now -- again looking for a place to play basketball before he will attempt to carve out a career in the pros (because 7-footers with that kind of talent will always get a shot ... and drugs just don't scare people like they used to).

In this part of the country, even if it's foolhardy, it's a bit hard not to wonder if Upshaw, who has been projected as high as a potential first-round draft pick in the NBA Draft, may have had a different college experience had he arrived in Manhattan as originally planned.

Once committed to Frank Martin when the coach was still at Kansas State, Upshaw -- ranked No. 52 nationally overall by Rivals -- was viewed as a return to big-time recruiting for Martin's staff. When Martin left, Upshaw's decision to decommit from K-State was pointed at by the former KSU coach's supporters as a sign of bad things to come.

Those supporters were right ... sort of. Upshaw now has been under two separate coaching staffs and even took part in John Lucas' rehabilitation program. And yet, here he stands at this latest crossroads. Kansas State, on the other hand, has since won a share of a Big 12 Conference title and been to the NCAA Tournament each year.