Charlotte Hornets: Five Potential Second Round Selections

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January 4, 2015; Stanford, CA, USA; Washington Huskies center Robert Upshaw (24) grabs a rebound against Stanford Cardinal guard Marcus Allen (15) during the first half at Maples Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Upshaw, a center from the University of Washington, is a big dude. Seven feet tall and 260 pounds, he has the size to bang in the NBA in the paint. He also loves to block shots, as he was leading the NCAA in blocked shots for a time during his stint with the Huskies. Not just blocking shots, but in altering shots and causing turnovers when opposing teams drove into the paint.

He averaged 5.3 blocks per 40 minutes in PAC-12 conference play last season, along with 13.9 points and 11.7 rebounds. The guy dominated a major college basketball conference on the defensive end. However, there are concerns that Upshaw used his sheer size to dominate rather than solid fundamentals. NBADraft.Net has the details:

"The league seems to be gravitating away from the “lumbering big man” and his lack of overall speed and lateral quickness will mean he will have to adjust to NBA speed, and fit into the right system … Will need to be better at boxing out for defensive rebounds, got by a lot on sheer size at the college level … Can definitely work on setting stronger screens and his positioning without the ball … Not overly explosive or athletic, needs to be more assertive running the floor at times … Conditioning will be a key to how much time a team can keep him on the court … Still has a long way to go offensively, was not always aggressive in gaining post position, even when he had a massive size advantage on a regular basis …"

Still, he could be the next Roy Hibbert with his size and ability to defend drives into the paint. For a second round pick, Upshaw has excellent potential and a high floor as a back-up center. The biggest questions, of course, are not about his on-court performance, but why did he get dismissed from not one, but two separate college programs?

Upshaw was dismissed from the Washington Huskies basketball team after an unspecified violation of team rules. Dismissing a talent like Upshaw, who was leading the nation in blocked shots, means that something very bad must have happened. reported that Upshaw failed or missed multiple drug tests while at Washington and Fresno St:

"Upshaw, who transferred to UW from Fresno State, has failed multiple drug tests while at both schools, sources close to the situation told ESPN."

So, lots of talent, but a potential drug addiction. This is why Upshaw is falling into the second round. The Hornets need to do their homework with Upshaw, but if they think he has turned things around, then he could be the steal of the draft.

Next: Nedim Buza