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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Castleton opts to stay in Gainesville for final season

Florida’s star forward is using his fifth year of eligibility to play under Todd Golden

<p>Colin Castleton has elected to use his fifth year of eligibility to play one more season in Gainesville. </p>

Colin Castleton has elected to use his fifth year of eligibility to play one more season in Gainesville.

New Florida basketball head coach Todd Golden won’t have to worry about locking down the paint anymore.

Colin Castleton is not going anywhere.

The Gators’ leading scorer, rebounder and shot blocker took to social media Monday morning to announce his return to the program.

Castleton was far and away Florida’s centerpiece last season: He averaged 16.2 points and nine rebounds a game and racked up 10 double-doubles on the season.

Even if former head coach Mike White hadn’t departed to Georgia, Castleton’s future was a major question mark this offseason. His decision to play for Golden is a huge lift to the new regime. Castleton’s presence marks one less spot the new staff would have to fill via the transfer portal.

While his play on the court cannot be understated, it was clear last season the emotional leadership Castleton carries in the Florida locker room.

The Gators seemed poised to say farewell to seven seniors, but now that number will land at just six, or maybe even five. Penn State transfer Myreon Jones is currently listed on the team’s 2022-23 roster.

The departures of guard Tyree Appleby to the transfer portal and forward Anthony Duruji to the NBA Draft will be counteracted by the emergence of young players. Guard Kowacie Reeves and forward Niels Lane emerged in big ways in the SEC Tournament and NIT.

Both players are on tap to start for the Gators this upcoming season.

The past few days have been big for Florida basketball. Former Belmont guard Will Richard announced his commitment to transfer to UF Saturday.

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In just less than a month at the helm, Golden is stacking his roster with talent.

Contact Joseph Henry at Follow him on Twitter @Josephhenry2424.

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Joseph Henry

Joseph Henry is a fourth-year sports journalism major and is the Alligator's sports editor. He previously worked as senior news director, assistant sports editor, men's basketball beat reporter, volleyball beat reporter and golf beat reporter. He enjoys sitting down to watch a movie as often as possible, collecting vinyl and drinking Dr. Pepper. 

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