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Florida’s basketball team has a lot of outgoing talent to replace in 2021-22. Following the loss to Oral Roberts in the NCAA Tournament earlier this year, the program saw six players leave through either the transfer portal or the draft.
The Gators will rely on a lot of newcomers after adding four experienced players in the transfer portal, but they will have one piece of continuity: center Colin Castleton. Expectations weren’t particularly high for Castleton, who was added last year as a transfer after making a minimal impact in his first two years at Michigan.
But he had a breakout season with UF, and he’s expected to be the team’s best player this season. He’s also in the preseason conversation for some hardware.
The senior was named to the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award watch list on Friday. He was one of 20 players on the preseason watch list for the award, which is given annually to the nation’s best center. Iowa’s Luka Garza, a second-round pick in the 2021 NBA draft, won it last year.
Castleton is coming off a junior season in which he averaged 12.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.3 blocks, and he became one of the team’s leaders after veteran forward Keyontae Johnson was lost for the season.
There are three rounds of fan voting for the award, and the watch list of 20 players will be trimmed to 10 in late January and then five in March. That same month, one of the five finalists will be presented with the award. However, this watch list isn’t set in stone, and players can play their ways on and off the list.
Here’s the full watch list.
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