Kansas State picked up an important pledge Monday when 6-foot-11, 260-pound center Robert Upshaw
of San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno, Calif.)
signaled his intentions to become a Wildcat. He is expected to make it official at 2 p.m. by signing a National Letter of Intent, according to coach Pat Geil.
Upshaw, a four-star prospect ranked No. 44 in the MaxPreps Class of 2012 Top 100, did not play as a junior at San Joaquin Memorial after transferring from nearby Edison High School. He spent his summer with the club team Dream Vision, which featured top prospect Shabazz Muhammad
and reached the nationally-televised final of the adidas Super 64 in July.
"I expect big things from him this season," Geil said. "He practiced with us all last year and did a pretty good job considering he couldn't play. That's tough on a kid's mindset."
San Joaquin Memorial also produced 7-foot twins Brook
(New Jersey Nets) and Robin Lopez
(Phoenix Suns), who starred at Stanford before reaching the NBA. Geil was an assistant when the Lopez twins led the Panthers to a 33-4 record in 2005-06. That team also featured Quincy Pondexter
, who earned All-American honors at the University of Washington and now plays for the New Orleans Hornets.
"When they left we became a program school, working our way up with our feeder program and normal, run-of-the-mill high school basketball players," Geil said. "We’ve had some success, so when you add a kid like Rob, hopefully he takes you to a whole new level."
Upshaw's commitment is the most significant for Wildcat head coach Frank Martin since Wally Judge – now at Rutgers – came on board in 2009. Kansas State signed one-and-done star Michael Beasley in 2007.
"Rob liked his visit, liked Manhattan, liked the community-feel and that didn't surprise me," Geil said. "Kansas State has had some good post players and I'm sure they have a plan for him."
The Wildcats also have a commitment 6-11, 265-pound center Laimonas Chatkevicius
, a native of Lithuania who will spend the year at South Kent School (South Kent, Conn.)