We are under a week away from Florida basketball returning to the hardwood, and the Todd Golden era beginning. Unlike years past, there’s lots of optimism around this Gators’ hoops team.
The Mike White experience is finally behind us, and there are lots of new transfers that are exciting the fanbase.
UF’s best asset however is a returning starter. Big man Colin Castleton is back again as the Gator center and was named to the All-SEC first team this morning.
A senior out of Deland, Florida, Castleton began his career at Michigan before transferring to Gainesville for the 2020 season. Since he got here, he’s been the focal point of the UF offense and has had a huge defensive presence.
Last season, he averaged 16.2 points, 9 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. He only had 2 fouls per game last year as well, which is incredibly important in college ball, especially for star big men.
Defensively, he had 2.2 blocks per game, solidifying himself as a great interior defender. He’s also reliable at the charity stripe for a center, shooting it at a 70.3% clip.
As if he wasn’t hard enough to stop in the paint, now it looks like he’s developing a three-point shot.
For the past few years, Gator basketball has always had excitement around a few players, but the team’s overall struggles have overshadowed personal accomplishments.
Maybe I sound like a broken record, but this may be the year it changes. Todd Golden is bringing a brand new philosophy to Gainesville, and transfers like Trey Bonham and Kyle Lofton will bring a more up-tempo playing style.
In order for the team to be successful, Castleton is going to have to be the anchor of the squad and play consistently. He’s already shown that he can do that in years past, and now all the SEC coaches are recognizing it too.
Keep up with Florida basketball at Hail Florida Hail.