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Ha Quoc Huy / Columbia Daily Spectator

Castlin attempts a layup in a game during his senior year at Columbia. He'll continue to play college basketball next season for Xavier.

Men’s basketball’s senior guard Kyle Castlin told Spectator that he has transferred to Xavier to play as a graduate transfer.

A graduate transfer can only occur if a student-athlete forfeits a year of eligibility during their four years of undergraduate athletics. Castlin’s transfer was made possible by a toe injury that forced him to miss all his junior year.

The announcement comes following a turbulent season for the Lions, who finished 8-19 overall and 5-9 in conference play, putting them in fifth place. The team missed out on the Ivy League Tournament by one spot.

Castlin excelled in his first year at Columbia, starting every single game that season. However, he began to struggle and was dropped from the starting lineup after a string of subpar performances in his sophomore year, and he sat out the entirety of his junior year. However, Castlin views this turbulence as motivation for his upcoming year at Xavier.

“Through all of the trials I’ve been through while playing here, I’m still definitely appreciative,” Castlin said. “Even though I’ve been injured, and we didn’t win as much as I would have wanted to, it has prepared me to play in the Big East.”

In his senior year at Columbia, Castlin was still able to make an impact on the court, even if it was mostly off of the bench. He led the team to an 85-60 victory over Princeton at home, with a career-high 22-point performance that helped snap the Light Blue’s eight-game losing streak. Castlin looks to bring that same sort of fervor to the Division I environment at Xavier.

“They have a great program and culture that is already established,” Castlin said. “I really appreciated that the Xavier coaching staff didn’t promise anything. They just told me the opportunities that were there. If I work hard, everything will take care of itself.”

The competition in the Big East will be starkly different from that at Columbia, as the Musketeers are coming off a season of unprecedented regular season success. Xavier won its first Big East Tournament and additionally clinched the first seed in the West Region—and fourth seed overall—for the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Although they were upset by Florida State in the second round of the tournament, the Musketeers are still considered one of the best teams in the nation, which Castlin recognized in his re-recruitment process.

“I feel really good about it, given the Big East Conference and Xavier being the basketball program that it is,” Castlin said. “This decision was huge.”

henry.schwartz@columbiaspectator.com | @CUSpecSports

Men's Basketball Columbia Lions Castlin Kyle Castlin Xavier
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