Wyking Jones met with Upshaw, who has cut his list to nine programs: Arizona, Fresno State, Georgetown, Louisville, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Maryland, UNLV and USC, Friday and Scout.com's 12th-ranked center prospect told InsideTheVille.com the meeting with Rick Pitino's assistant was a positive experience.
"It was a great visit," Upshaw said. "I really enjoyed meeting with Coach Jones. He explained how things would work at Louisville and told me that Coach Pitino was excited about me. Coach Pitino couldn't make it out because he had September 11 things to attend. So I'm looking forward to seeing Coach Pitino when he gets out here. My recruitment from Louisville has been great."
Jones told Upshaw that Louisville is intrigued with his potential and would fit perfectly in Pitino's system.
Jones, who joined Rick Pitino's staff last spring after serving as an assistant at New Mexico, has developed a strong relationship with Upshaw.
"It's been a good relationship," said Upshaw. "I talk to Coach Wyking when he's able to as the NCAA allows and I've talked to Coach Pitino over the phone. Coach Wyking has been very real about things. He hasn't sold me any dreams. He's told me the truth about everything, like if I didn't come in and work hard I wouldn't get better. I like that about him and the relationship is great."
Louisville is one of only three schools on Upshaw's list located east of the Mississippi River. He says distance won't be a major factor in his decision.
"My interest in Louisville is they have had a successful program over the years," Upshaw said. "Coach Pitino is a legend of a coach. He's a great coach. And they have a good Communications program, which attracted me. I also like the idea of playing in the Big East. If I'm going to go to the next level than I would have to play in a tough league like the Big East."
Is Upshaw's family, particularly his mother, on board with the possibility of him playing far away from home in college?
"That's a sacrifice we're will to make as a family," Upshaw said. "We've talked about it and she understands that we have to be strong. When I make it to the NBA, God-willing, I'm going to have to move anyway. She said she'd be okay with it so it's not a big factor."
Does Upshaw believe Pitino can help him achieve his NBA goals?
"Yes I do, as well as the other eight schools that are recruiting me," said Upshaw. "Coach Pitino is a good enough coach and I feel like they have a good enough system to help me get to that level."
Upshaw is taking his time with the recruiting process. Upshaw doesn't plan to make a college decision until the spring, and the next step in his process will be narrow his list from nine schools to five after the in-home visits are complete.
"It's just home visits for right now," said Upshaw. "The good thing for me is I can finally put a face to a voice. To have (coaches) visit my house and talk with my family is really big for me. Once this process is over I will narrow the list to five schools.
"Anything could happen, but right now I'm sticking with my decision to sign next spring. Academics, the basketball program and the environment I'm going to be in will be big factors in this decision."