Florida basketball: Colin Castleton returns, Will Richard joins, Tyree Appleby among players leaving

By OnlyGators.com Staff
April 11, 2022
Florida basketball: Colin Castleton returns, Will Richard joins, Tyree Appleby among players leaving

Image Credit: GatorsMBK / Twitter

Florida Gators basketball is in the midst of a significant transition under new head coach Todd Golden, and as if that was not already apparent, the roster undergoing significant changes over the last week-plus has made that clear. There has been a litany of major occurrences as Golden looks to remake the program in his image, none bigger for Florida than what went down Monday.

Forward Colin Castleton, who despite being a senior has a year of eligibility remaining, announced Monday that he will return to the Gators for an additional season, putting off a professional career despite testing the NBA waters over a year ago after his junior season.

“The past couple weeks have helped me reflect on the season, as well as give me time to decide what’s next for my future,” Castleton said in a tweet. “… Everyone’s process is different, and I’m adding another chapter to mine. Gator Nation I’m Back!”

Florida’s leading scorer and rebounder, Castleton averaged 16.2 points and 9.0 boards last season. His decision to return gives is a huge surge for the Gators, who are looking to complete a significant transition under Golden that includes an overhaul of the roster.

In fact, three Florida players have already decided to leave the program with eligibility remaining. Senior F Anthony Duruji has decided to look toward a professional career, while senior point guard Tyree Appleby and junior F Tuongthach Gatkek have entered the transfer portal.

Hoping to fill some of those talent gaps is former Belmont guard Will Richard, who announced Saturday that he will transfer to Florida. Averaging 12.1 points and 6.0 rebounds for the Bruins last season, Richard was among the top 20 transfers on the market, according to 247Sports.

Still, the return of Castleton is the big coup for Golden as the Gators undergo this significant transition.

While Golden is hitting the recruiting trail hard in hopes of rebuilding the roster, it’s clear he has prioritized rerecruiting players who are already part of the program.

As such, ensuring freshman guard Kowacie Reeves remains with the program has been near the top of Golden’s priority list. Indications are that the playmaker, who averaged 16.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per game in the postseason, will be staying with Florida barring a significant change.

Expect more roster adjustments as the offseason rolls on.

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