Butler 6-foot-2 guard Castro will transfer to Duquesne

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It took an extra year, but the recruiting efforts of Duquesne's coaching staff finally paid off.

Rene Castro, a 6-foot-2 point guard, announced Wednesday he will transfer from Butler to the Bluff. He will sit out the 2014-15 season due to transfer restrictions and have three years of eligibility remaining.

Castro took an official visit to the school in October 2012, as a senior at Worchester Academy in Massachusetts, but selected Butler over other finalists Duquesne and George Washington.

Castro was the 2012 Gatorade Player of the Year in Massachusetts after averaging 23.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game for Worchester.

His brief Butler career came to an abrupt end in mid-February.

He was dismissed from a team shootaround Feb. 11, according to the Indianapolis Star, and Butler coach Brandon Miller announced two days later that Castro had been suspended for "a disciplinary issue," his second suspension of the season. Four days later, Castro informed Miller he intended to transfer.

The source of the friction between Castro and the Butler staff was a lack of playing time. Castro averaged 3.3 points and 0.6 rebounds in 8.8 minutes per game. He played in 12 games, none of which came in his final month with the team.

"It was a very disappointing season for myself but overall I definitely had fun with my teammates, and the coaches were great," Castro said Wednesday. "It just didn't work out for me playing-time-wise. Everything else was great.

"It didn't go the way I wanted, but it was a great learning experience, and I'm ready to move on to the future."

Castro's commitment to Butler was tested before his freshman season began. In March 2013, Butler assistant coach Matthew Graves, Castro's lead recruiter, became the head coach at South Alabama. In July, Butler coach Brad Stevens left for the Boston Celtics of the NBA.

"It was tough because it came late so in the process," said Castro, who followed through on his commitment only to leave a year later.

He didn't visit any schools this spring, but he fielded plenty of calls from coaches and sat down to research teams' playing styles and how he might fit into their rotations.

Castro, who fancies himself "an aggressive point guard" who can "distribute and score equally well," pulled up some film from Duquesne's 13-17 season and was wooed by coach Jim Ferry's up-tempo transition offense.

"I always liked the way they played," Castro said. "The style of play is really fast -- everybody is able to play, get a lot of shots up, share the ball and score."

Castro will arrive at Duquesne in June. He will practice with the Dukes next season but will not be permitted to compete or travel with the team.

"Hopefully, this year off can really help me," he said. "If you have a year off and you take it really seriously, you can improve a lot. That's my goal.

"[Duquesne] recruited me out of high school and didn't end up getting me, but they're pretty happy they got me now."

Stephen J. Nesbitt: snesbitt@post-gazette.com, 412-290-2183 and Twitter @stephenjnesbitt.

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