Jason Jitoboh is 'next man up' if Colin Castleton injury lingers

On3-Social-Profile_GRAYby:On3 Staff Report02/15/23

Florida knocked off Ole Miss 79-64 on Wednesday night but the bigger story might just be a Colin Castleton injury that sidelined the extremely talented big man during the contest.

Castleton left in the second half after seemingly knocking wrists with an Ole Miss player, helped to the locker room by a team trainer while holding his right wrist.

Coach Todd Golden told an SEC Network crew after the game that Castleton is undergoing testing now.

“I think he’s going through it right now, so hopefully by the end of the night we’ll know what’s going on,” Golden said. “Little concerned, it didn’t look great in what happened, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed and hope for some good news, but at the end of the day whatever happens we’ve got to have that next-man mentality and make sure these other guys are geared up and ready to go.”

Castleton averaged a team-leading 16.5 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, so losing him for any period of time would be a tremendous blow.

He was replaced against the Rebels by fellow big man Jason Jitoboh, who Golden said would be the player to soak up the majority of minutes if Castleton remains out.

“We definitely need Jason,” Golden said. “That’s the one guy that we know is capable. He’s done a wonderful job of being a great teammate, understanding that he has a guy in Colin in front of him that’s playing like a top 10-15 player in the country.

“But as you saw in the second half I think he played the last 12 minutes without getting a sub. He kept himself in great shape. He knows all of our stuff, knows our coverages and I think he’s going to do a decent job if we need him to spell Colin here for a little bit.”

Jitoboh entered Wednesday night’s contest averaging just 2.3 points and 1.3 rebounds per game, but his usage could skyrocket if the Colin Castleton injury keeps him out any extended period of time.