Robert Upshaw, the 7-foot freshman center at Fresno State, will serve the last of a three-game suspension on Wednesday when the Bulldogs play Mountain West Conference-leading New Mexico at the Save Mart Center.
And when he comes back his seat on the bench will be no farther or closer to the scorer’s table than it was before, coach Rodney Terry said.
“All of that takes care of itself in practice. If a guy works hard, shows he’s focused and he’s ready and he’s prepared to play, then he’ll have a chance to play,” Terry said.
Upshaw, who was suspended for a violation of athletic department policy and missed a victory over Nevada-Las Vegas and a loss at San Diego State, has been in practice with the Bulldogs during the suspension, just not in games. But he has struggled in his first season of college basketball, often floating through games at both ends of the floor and not really being much of a presence. He has hit only 36.8% of his shots (32 of 87) and is averaging 4.8 points and 4.1 rebounds in 19.1 minutes per game.
In the four games before the suspension he had hit only 1 of 10 shots and didn’t take any in a loss to Colorado State, and the Bulldogs do have another big body now that they didn’t two weeks ago with the addition of freshman forward Braeden Anderson.
“He hasn’t missed any practice time, he’s missed game time and we look for him to work his way back into the rotation and stay ready for when the opportunity for him to play presents itself,” Terry said.