Coach Mike White and Florida fans got to witness the first fireworks display on Sunday. Florida center Colin Castleton announced via Twitter that he will be retiring from the NBA Draft and returning to the Gators for his senior season.
âThe last few months have been very productive as I participated in the NBA draft process and worked for NBA teams,â Castleton wrote in his ad. âIt will be an experience that will help me as I continue to grow as a player and as a person. I am delighted to announce that I will be back at the University of Florida next season to continue competing with my teammates and working towards my degree. I love being an alligator and representing orange and blue.
Castleton led Florida in the rebound last season at 6.4 per game. He was also second on the team in scoring, averaging 12.4 points per game. The old one Michigan the big man also led Florida in blocks, at 2.3 per game.
It has been said and expected by many Florida media outlets that Castleton is only testing the waters of the NBA and simply seeking comments on where he could improve. He put his name in the NBA Draft and hired an NCAA-certified agent to maintain his eligibility.
Florida basketball players and coaching staff are familiar with the decision because former playmaker Tre Mann did the same last offseason. This obviously paid Mann big dividends as he became a borderline first-round pick in this year’s NBA Draft.
White and his team will undergo a major rebuild again this season. The program saw six players leave campus with Mann and forward Scottie Lewis entering the draft. However, he supplemented those holes with additions from the NCAA transfer portal.
Florida are hoping that with these additions, along with their best rookie guard Kowacie Reeves, they will help make UF more competitive within the SEC. The Gators have failed to finish higher than fifth in the past three seasons.