Pro Hockey News

Monday, March 6, 2023

Florida's Castleton, Kugel Earn SEC Honors

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Two Florida men's basketball players earned Southeastern Conference accolades on Monday as graduate forward Colin Castleton was named first-team All-SEC and SEC All-Defensive Team and freshman guard Riley Kugel earned a place on the SEC All-Freshman Team.

Castleton led the Gators in scoring (16.0) and rebounding (7.7) while his 3.0 blocked shots per game rank fourth in the nation and are a Florida single-season record. Castleton joined Dorian Finney-Smith as the only transfers to join the 1,000-point club at Florida, and his 1,165 points at UF rank 41st in program history. 

His 194 blocked shots are third all-time for the Gators, and his 2.49 blocked shots per game are a program record. Castleton had four straight 20-point games before suffering a broken hand on Feb. 15 vs. Ole Miss that has sidelined him since.Castleton joins rare company in Florida history as a three-time All-SEC honoree becoming the fourth Gator this century, 13th all-time and the first in a decade to achieve that status (Kenny Boynton, 2011-13). He is also the third Gator to earn both first-team All-SEC and SEC All-Defensive team honors, joining Chris Chiozza (2017-18) and Scottie Wilbekin (2013-14).Freshman Riley Kugel has been a major contributor for the Gators, averaging 12.6 points in SEC play while shooting at a .516 clip from the field and .407 from 3-point range. He scored in double figures in eight straight games to close the regular season, the longest double-figure scoring streak in SEC play by a UF freshman since Bradley Beal (10, 2011-12).

Over that eight-game stretch, Kugel has averaged 18.3 points per game with three 20-point performances. With Kugel's honor, Florida has had a member of the SEC All-Freshman Team in 11 of the last 16 seasons. Earlier today, Kugel was also named SEC Freshman of the Week for his role in the Gators' wins against Georgia and LSU.