UConn’s Stephon Castle officially enters NBA Draft as ‘one-and-done’

From the start it was clear Stephon Castle wasn’t your typical “one-and-done” player. He came to UConn all in for winning a championship, and fulfilled that commitment to coach Dan Hurley.

In fact, Hurley called him “the anti-five star,” because his team-first attitude was different from the typical high-end recruit. He matured as the year went on and was at his best in the Final Four, scoring 36 points in the victories over Alabama and Purdue as the Huskies repeated..

On Friday, Castle told ESPN he had chosen his agents and will enter the NBA Draft, where he is expected to be a top 10 pick. Some mock drafts have had him at the very top.

“The blessing you’ve worked most of your life for,” Castle’s father, Stacey, said via social media “New chapter. Let’s get to work.”

Castle will be the second “one-and-done” player in UConn’s history. Andre Drummond entered the NBA Draft after his freshman season in 2012, was picked ninth overall by Detroit and is still in the league, currently with the Bulls, and one of the top rebounders in the game.

At UConn, Castle, 6 foot 6, 215 pounds, from Covington, Ga., fought through and early-season knee injury and began hitting his stride in January. He averaged 11.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists, shooting 47.2 per from the floor. He impressed opponents and scouts with his ability to play defense, locking down top players throughout the second half of the season and, particularly, in the NCAA Tournament. He averaged 12.5 points across the six Tournament games. Throughout, Castle, 19, blended in seamlessly on a team with several much older players.

Castle told ESPN he has retained Joe Smith and Thad Foucher of Wasserman to represent him. He will begin the process of working for NBA teams soon and is likely to be invited to the Draft Combine in Chicago May 12-19.

“No freshman impacted winning like this champion,” Hurley said via X in response to the news Castle was entering The Draft,, “Hs combination of talent, work ethic and humility…and great parents.”

With Castle’s departure, the Huskies have lost two starters from the championship team, including sophomore Donovan Clingan, to early entry to the pros. Sophomore Alex Karaban announced Thursday he will explore the draft, process, but for now retain his college eligibility. Two other starters, Cam Spencer and Tristen Newton, are out of eligibility. The Huskies have added forward Tarris Reed, a transfer from Michigan, and are hosting a five-star recruit, Liam McNeely, a 6-7 small forward, early next week.

Dom Amore: Stephon Castle, ‘a pleaser,’ is the one to get it done for UConn men in March Madness