The Florida Gators dealt with the rule of three on Sunday afternoon.
Florida's men's basketball team received word that point guards Andrew Nembhard and Tre Mann were declaring for the NBA Draft, while Michigan sophomore Colin Castleton announced his plan to transfer to Florida.
Nembhard and Mann have maintained their eligibility and could return to Florida should the draft process not play out in their favor, joining Castleton on a team that returns star forward Keyontae Johnson and a high-potential returning wing in Scottie Lewis.
Castleton offers loads of potential as well. During his two-year stint in Michigan after playing his high school ball at Father Lopez Catholic in Daytona Beach (Fla.), he only averaged six minutes per game across 44 contests, yet he shot 50 percent from the field across 72 shots while averaging 1.8 rebounds per game. In 2019, Castleton improved his field goal percentage from 40.9 percent to 54 percent, going 27-for-50.
What held Colin Castleton back from getting more minutes at Michigan?
Brandon Brown: "He was very slight coming and was still working on filling out and getting stronger. He wasn’t quite ready for the wear and tear on defense and on the boards, but he did show some signs of being really good on offense.
Also, he was behind a veteran big like Jon Teske from day one, so starter’s minutes were not going to be there during his two years at Michigan. He showed flashes of being able to hold his own, but was never really complete enough to be on the court."
What are some of Castleton's strengths? Where does he have room to grow and where did he improve in his sophomore season?
BB: "He’s a very, very skilled big man. He can actually handle the ball off a shot fake and drive to the rim. He can step out and shoot it but didn’t really do it much at Michigan.
He’s long and pretty crafty around the rim when it comes to creating angles and getting up good shots as well. He definitely needs to get stronger and more aggressive on defense and when rebounding but he’s got a great frame to do just that."
Florida dealt with offensive inconsistencies throughout the 2019-20 season, Can he help the team improve there with added movements?
BB: "I think so. If Florida needs offense from a big, he can provide that. He’s not worthless on defense but he needs to bulk up and get mentally ready for how physical a full season in the SEC can be."
Is there word on what led to Castleton leaving Michigan?
BB: "It was really about the minutes, which actually changed down the stretch. Reserve center Austin Davis was asked to come back for his fifth year, Michigan signed four-star, 7-2 center Hunter Dickinson and U-M had a commitment in place from five-star big Isaiah Todd until about a day before signing day.
Castleton announced his transfer and just a few days later, Todd announced that he’d be trying out the G League. There are actually minutes and a scholarship available at Michigan for Castleton at this point, but he was already on his way out."