Florida Men's Basketball preps for Saturday match vs. Auburn
Florida Gators/Twitter

Castleton Sparks Gators Bounce Back

The Florida Gators bounced back from an embarrassing loss on Monday with a resounding 85-55 win over North Florida. Colin Castleton dominated on offense en route to a career-high 26 points.

The Gators looked like a completely different team from the one that played Monday as they played with lots of energy and hustle. Almost every area that Florida struggled in on Monday is where they excelled on Wednesday. Florida guard Myreon Jones said it was good to have a quick turnaround to put the game behind them, and that they agreed in the locker room they could not play like that again.

https://twitter.com/GatorsMBK/status/1468765476218015746?s=20

“That’s what we were saying after the game, this is a wake up call,” Jones said.

Head coach Mike White said the team held a “lengthy” meeting after the loss on Tuesday where everybody spoke. He was impressed with the team’s maturity to put up the type of effort they did on Wednesday.

Energy On Both Ends

The clearest difference between Monday and Wednesday was the effort the Gators played with. Florida showed hustle, dove for loose balls and made all the plays that they did not make against Texas Southern.

The Gators had 21 steals and forced 28 total turnovers on the night. It was the type of defensive effort that the Gators showed in their first six games, but not in their two losses.

Florida held the Ospreys to just 34% shooting from the field and 24% from three. They had active hands, pressed hard and were up in the faces of North Florida all night long. They made everything tough on the Ospreys, holding them to their second lowest point total of the season.

The energy on defense led to offense on Wednesday for Florida as the Gators 28 turnovers led to 33 points. They also had 28 points on the fastbreak. Tyree Appleby led the team with four steals, Elijah Kennedy and CJ Felder both had three and five other Gators had two steals.

The Gators were also much cleaner with the ball than they have been the last two games as they committed just 10 turnovers.

Still, shooting concerns remain for Florida. The Gators shot just 45% from the field and 5-23 (22%) from deep. The Gators must figure out their shooting woes going forward if they want to turn this season into a great one.

Castleton Shines In Career-Best Effort

Colin Castleton was the start of the night for Florida. After a lackluster performance Monday when he grabbed just five rebounds, the Gators center scored a career high 26 points and added eight boards in just 27 minutes. He took responsibility for the loss and said it was very hard on him.

https://twitter.com/GatorsMBK/status/1468756595697881088?s=20

“I took it personally on my shoulders,” Castleton said. “I don’t even know how much I slept.”

The senior transfer dominated down low and controlled the paint. White was impressed with his maturity to pick up the effort and said nobody took the loss more personal than Castleton.

“He was aggressive, he imposed his will on the interior, but it started with the way he approached his defensive effort,” White said.

The Gators will need that version of Castleton moving forward. They are a much better team when he is being aggressive, getting to the rim and finishing in the post.

He was also very effective at getting to the foul line. After shooting just four three throws on Monday, he had 11 attempts on Wednesday and made eight of them.

Early on in the season it seems that as Castleton goes, the team goes around him and that was certainly the case on Wednesday. He set the tone for Florida and played a relentless style of basketball, bringing the energy to guys around him. His coach said Castleton played a major part in Tuesday’s meeting that helped the team move past their back-to-back losses.

Castleton also told reporters that Florida must now put Monday’s loss behind them and move forward.  They will look to build off of Wednesday’s win against Maryland on Friday in Brooklyn and coverage begins on ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM WRUF at 3:50 p.m.

About Ethan Budowsky

Ethan Budowsky is a fifth-year telecommunications student at the University of Florida. He covers Major League Baseball for Just Baseball Media and previously covered the Miami Marlins for their SB Nation affiliate, Fish Stripes.

Check Also

LIVE THREAD: National Signing Day

Here’s an updated thread of all the recruits who picked the Gator hat today! RB …

AFC Divisional Round Preview: Pittsburgh Steelers

During last weekend’s NFL Wild Card round, the Steelers made a statement by handing the Dolphins a …

Houston Looking For an Upset in Foxborough

The saying has always been “it’s hard to beat a good team twice,” and in …

Blue Jackets vs. Lightning Tonight

The Columbus Blue Jackets and the Tampa Bay Lightning will be facing each other once …

Possible Additions to McElwain’s Recruiting Class Visiting this Weekend

With National Signing Day less than three weeks away, the Gators are hosting several talented …

Florida Gymnastics Prepares for Season Opener

GAINESVILLE, FL – The Florida Gator gymnastics team will kick off their season this Sunday …

Surprised Gators Promote Randy Shannon To Defensive Coordinator? You Shouldn’t Be

Florida’s head coach, Jim McElwain, announced Friday morning that Randy Shannon would be making the …

Quarterbacks in Spotlight for NFL Wild Card Weekend

The NFL Wild Card kicks off Saturday and the quarterback situations could not be any more different. On …

College Football Playoff Shakes Up Schedule

The College Football Playoff was a success in its first year. Yet, that doesn’t stop …

Michael Jordan Speaks out about Shootings, Police Officers

NBA great Michael Jordan opened up about his thoughts about shootings of African-Americans and the …

Treon Harris to Transfer

With the college football season approaching, the Florida Gators have announced that former starting QB …

USA Basketball Wins Second Exhibition Game

Just a few short days after their big win over Argentina, team USA won its …

Charlotte Is No Longer The Home Of The 2017 NBA All-Star Game

The House Bill 2 came between Charlotte, North Carolina and the 2017 All-Star Game. The …

Tampa Bay Rays Continue Series Against Oakland

The Tampa Bay Rays are continuing their three-game winning streak. The Rays defeated the Oakland …

MLB Preview Tonight

It’s summer time—the best time to go to a baseball game and experience the atmosphere. …

Braves Begin Series With Rockies

The Atlanta Braves (33-62) open up a four-game road series with the Rockies (43-51) tonight …

Marlins To Close Out Series With The Phillies

The Miami Marlins are in the middle of a crucial ten game span against NL East …

Rays Crush Rockies 11-3, Face A’s Next

In the midst of a terrible season that has seen the Tampa Bay Rays (37-57) …

American League Second Half Outlook

The second half of the baseball season is in full swing which translates to? Pennant races. Teams …

National League Evening Preview

Tonight is a busy night for the National League in the MLB. Starting with the …

Big 12 Looks To Expand

Following a Tuesday meeting between Big 12 presidents, Oklahoma president David Boren announced that the …

LSU Looks To Capitalize On Its Opportunity

The Louisiana State University Tigers will enter the 2016 college football season with high expectations, …

Muschamp Helps Close Out SEC Media Days 2016

It wasn’t Will Muschamps first SEC Media Days experience, but 2016 marked the first time …

Phil Mickelson Leads British Open After First Day

The 145th annual 2016 British Open is underway at Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland. The …

Missouri’s Football Crisis: Rebuilding A Program

On the final day of SEC Media Days, Barry Odom took the stand as Missouri’s head …

Second Half Of MLB Season Begins

The All-Star Break is a good time for teams to rest up and reform themselves …

British Open Underway

The 145th Open Championship is already underway at the Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland. Welcome …

No. 2 Auburn Host Georgia Basketball

The No. 2 ranked Auburn Tigers host the Georgia Bulldogs tonight at 9 p.m. The …