Colin Castleton, UF's leading scorer and rebounder, returning to Florida for final season
Florida forward Colin Castleton will return to the Gators for his fifth season of collegiate basketball rather than enter his name into the NBA Draft, Castleton announced Monday on his social media accounts.
“The past couple weeks have helped me reflect on the season, as well as give me time to decide what’s next for my future,” Castleton wrote. “Thank you to my family and everyone who has helped me make this decision. Everyone’s process is different, and I’m adding another chapter to mine. Gator Nation, I’m Back!”
In his second season at Florida after transferring from Michigan, Castleton continued his emergence as a leader within the program, both on and off the court. The DeLand native upped his averages across the board from his first season with the Gators, finishing the year averaging 16.2 points and 9.0 rebounds per contest. He had eight double-double performances, including two 20-point, 10-rebound performances.
Castleton was named to the All-SEC second team at the conclusion of the season, making him the first Gator since Dorian Finney-Smith to earn consecutive All-SEC honors.
Castleton’s season seems even more impressive when considering he returned to UF’s line-up for the final six weeks of the regular season after suffering a torn labrum in his left shoulder, which eventually required offseason surgery. The Gators missed the NCAA Tournament after losing to Texas A&M in the second round of the SEC Tournament, but Castleton still didn't shut it down, opting to continue competing with his teammates in the NIT.
Given Castleton’s current recovery timeline, as well as the frontcourt depth in this year’s NBA Draft, new UF head coach Todd Golden made a compelling case for Castleton to return at his introductory press conference.
“If Colin has a great opportunity to make significant money, he should go do that,” Golden said. "But if you can’t, why don’t you come back and be a rock star for a year and lead us back to the tournament and you’ll have more of an opportunity?”