Michigan forward Colin Castleton has entered the transfer portal, per multiple reports, putting an end to his two-year tenure in Ann Arbor.
A former four-star recruit out of Daytona Beach, Fla., Castleton began this past season as the Wolverines’ backup center. As just a sophomore, it appeared there would be ample room for the 6-foot-11 forward to improve under the tutelage of first-year Michigan coach Juwan Howard.
Castleton remained in Ann Arbor last summer, where he worked with strength and conditioning coach Jon Sanderson to gain much-needed muscle. Given Howard’s positionless basketball philosophy, Castleton’s added speed, strength and ability to guard multiple positions figured to bode well for his anticipated spike in playing time.
But nearly a month into the season, redshirt junior center Austin Davis overtook Castleton for the backup center duties. Caslteton showed promise as an interior defender during his freshman season, but after falling behind Davis early in his sophomore campaign, he saw double-digit minutes in only one conference game.
In limited action, Castleton averaged 3.1 points and 2.4 rebounds across 25 games. He averaged 7.2 points in the Wolverines’ first five games before his minutes dipped significantly.
Castleton’s transfer opens a second scholarship for the Wolverines’ 2020-21 roster, which remains in flux as they await the decisions of four recruiting targets. Beyond five-star 2020 prospects Josh Christopher and Greg Brown, Michigan has been linked to a pair of Ivy League graduate transfer point guards in Harvard’s Bryce Aiken and Columbia’s Mike Smith.
With Castleton’s departure, Michigan’s five-man 2018 recruiting class will see just Brandon Johns Jr. and Adrien Nunez reach their junior year in Ann Arbor. Sophomore guard David DeJulius announced his intention to enter the transfer portal on Monday, while Ignas Brazdeikis declared for the 2019 NBA Draft after his freshman season.
In his two years with the Wolverines, Castleton’s potential was evident in his shot-blocking and touch around the rim. Now, he’ll look to blossom elsewhere with his two remaining years of eligibility.