Whitley's Believe It or Not: Florida's Castleton will return

David Whitley
Gator Sports
Florida big man Colin Castleton entered his name in the NBA draft Sunday in hopes of “receiving feedback that will help my dreams come true.”

Before we get to the scandal that has rocked Auburn, a note of reassurance for Florida basketball fans.

I predict Colin Castleton will play for the Gators next season. Of course, I also predicted nobody would ever pay $1,018 for a pair of "Satan" sneakers that come with a drop of human blood.

Castleton entered his name in the NBA draft Sunday. He will not hire an agent and will retain his college eligibility.

The move should not have surprised anyone, though it didn't help UF fans already curled in fetal positions. Between the NCAA tournament letdown and players transferring, the last thing they needed was news Castleton might join the conga line out of Gainesville.

Relax. Castleton will work out for NBA teams and likely attend the league combine. Then the NBA’s Undergraduate Advisory Committee will tell him what his pro prospects are this year.

After languishing on Michigan's bench for two years, the 6-foot-11 Castleton blossomed into a semi-star at UF last season. He's still about 15 pounds and a year of college competition away from being ready for the NBA.

So expect him to show up in a Gators uniform this fall. If he shows up in a Jazz uniform and Satan sneakers, I will banish myself to prediction purgatory. ...

Speaking of Dante's Circles of Hell, the ninth is Treachery. That's apparently where Auburn's Bass Fishing Club is headed. The powerhouse team has been suspended until Dec. 31, 2021, for multiple violations of COVID-19 policies.

I'm ashamed to admit I didn't even know there was collegiate bass fishing. The NCAA doesn't sanction it, but it's apparently a pretty big deal in recreational sports around the SEC.

Florida won back-to-back national titles in 2010 and 2011. Alas, things have never been the same since Billy Donovan left for the National Bass Fishing Association. ...

Stud of the Week, Memorial Division — Dick Hoyt, whose son, Rick, was born with cerebral palsy. He strapped Rick in a wheelchair and "Team Hoyt" participated in more than 1,000 road races, triathlons and other competitions.

Hoyt, who lived in Holland, Mass., died last week at age 80. Talk about a race well run.

Honorable Mention: Howard Schnellenberger. Not only did he start the Miami Hurricanes football dynasty, he wore a sports coat and tie on the sideline. The dashing and legendary figure died last week at age 87.

Dud of the Week — The U.S. men's soccer team, which lost an Olympic qualifying match to Honduras on Sunday. Tokyo will now be the third consecutive Olympics with a U.S. men's team.

If that happened in Brazil, there would be mass rioting in the streets. Thank you for remaining calm. ...

The Devil Made Them Do It — Rapper Lil Nas X launched his brand of "Satan Shoes" Monday. The retrofitted Nike Air Max 97s are decorated with pentagram and a drop of human blood.

All 666 pairs were snapped up at $1,018 a pop. Nike has distanced itself from the project, saying it does not promote devil worship or slave labor unless the Chinese government tells it to. ...

Florida's baseball team was swept by South Carolina over the weekend, but all was not lost for the Gators. They set a school record for longest game Friday, losing 9-8 in 5 hours and 31 minutes.

If that had happened in Brazil, there would be mass sleeping in the streets ...

This Just In: Four members of Auburn's bass fishing team have entered the transfer portal and plan to follow Gus Malzhan to UCF. ...

Tankathon Talk — You think UF hoops fans have it rough? Orlando traded its best three players last week to officially join the chase for the worst record in the NBA and get the top draft pick.

It won't be easy. Oklahoma City announced ex-Gator Al Horford won't play any more this season. He's averaging 14.2 points and 6.7 rebounds a game, but the Thunder want to "develop" younger players the rest of the year.

In response, Orlando announced its remaining players will wear 6-inch stilettos the rest of the year in order to develop their calf muscles. ...

Today in History

1867 - The U.S. buys Alaska from Russia for $7.6 million, which is approximately what Oklahoma City will pay Horford to sit on the bench the next two months.

1981 - Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest by John Hinckley Jr. The Gipper lost a lot of blood, but not his sense of humor. When an aide assured him the next day that the government was running normally, Reagan said, “What makes you think I’d be happy about that?”...

2022 - Auburn students toilet-paper the trees at Toomer's Corner after the school's bass fishing team reclaims the national championship. ...

NBA Lottery Odds: Three of the top six prospects are named Jalen. What are the odds?

Jalen Johnson, Jalen Green, Jalen Suggs.

Knowing the Magic, they will draft Jalen Hurts. ...

That's it for this week's edition of Whitley's Believe It or Not. If you'd like to know more about Auburn's bass fishing scandal and other must-read happenings, we encourage you to sign up for an unlimited digital access subscription at Gainesville.com.

It will be much cheaper than a Satan Shoe, and we promise not to include droplets of blood unless specifically requested.

— David Whitley is The Gainesville Sun's sports columnist. Contact him at dwhitley@gannett.com. And follow him on Twitter: @DavidEWhitley

Whitley