SEATTLE (AP) Washington dismissed center Robert Upshaw, the national leader in blocked shots, from its program for a violation of team rules on Monday, a severe blow to the Huskies hopes of getting back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2011.
Washington coach Lorenzo Romar announced the dismissal in a statement. No other details were given by the school.
''We wish Rob well as he moves forward in his life, and we will do our best to support him in the future,'' Romar said in a statement.
Upshaw led the nation averaging 4.6 blocks per game and was already Washington's single-season record holder for blocked shots with 85 blocks in 19 games. He was averaging 10.9 points per game and 8.2 rebounds, mostly coming off the bench. Upshaw had made four starts, most of those coming when Jernard Jarreau went down with a knee injury. Upshaw had provided Washington an athletic presence in the middle, his first season with the Huskies after transferring from Fresno State and sitting out one year.
The timing of the dismissal was surprising, given Upshaw's performance on Sunday night in a loss at No. 11 Utah. Upshaw had 13 points, nine rebounds and six blocks in Washington's 77-56 loss to the Utes. He spoke to reporters after the game.
Washington's depth will be severely tested, starting with Wednesday night's game against Stanford. The Huskies have eight scholarship players available and guard Darin Johnson missed the past two games with a leg injury.