Florida basketball star Colin Castleton to test 2021 NBA Draft waters as Gators’ roster thins

By Adam Silverstein
March 28, 2021
Florida basketball star Colin Castleton to test 2021 NBA Draft waters as Gators’ roster thins

Image Credit: GatorsMBK / Twitter

Florida Gators junior forward Colin Castleton announced Sunday that he has decided to enter his name in the 2021 NBA Draft, though he will not hire an agent in order to retain his eligibility should he decide to return to school next season. Castleton, a transfer from Michigan, has played at Florida for one year.

Averaging 12.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, Castleton registered three double-doubles (two in the 2021 NCAA Tournament). He started slow through Florida’s first four games but took on a more significant role following the loss of star junior F Keyontae Johnson, the Preseason SEC Player of the Year, and made the most of it.

In the first two games the Gators played without Johnson, it was Castleton who led the team in scoring with an average of 22 points on combined 18 of 23 shooting. He averaged 59.7% from the field, posted 19+ points five times and scored in double digits over 16 of 24 contests.

Casleton blossomed in his first year with Florida after spending two seasons rarely seeing the court at Michigan. He went from averaging 7.9 minutes as a sophomore at UM to 25.8 at UF and was a significant reason that the Gators were able to advance to the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

Despite his success, Castleton is not considered a top 100 NBA Draft prospect, which would make it unlikely he receives a positive draft grade upon his evaluation. As such, the likelihood is that he will return to college for the 2021-22 season.

Still, Castleton is testing draft waters at a time of turmoil for Florida’s roster. Sophomore point guard Tre Mann has already announced for the NBA Draft; he will sign with an agent and be ineligible to return to college. Junior guard Noah Locke, sophomore PG Ques Glover and senior F Osayi Osifo have all decided to enter the transfer portal. Any could return to the program but are expected to head elsewhere.

This as Johnson’s status remains a mystery, and the Gators only have one player — four-star G Kowacie Reeves (Macon, GA) — joining the program as part of the Class of 2021. Head coach Mike White will likely attack the transfer portal as he has frequently (with significant success) over his first six years with the program.

The returning roster is rather limited, and White will also be looking to replace an assistant coach in Jordan Mincy, who left to become head coach at Jacksonville.

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