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Indiana State’s Robbie Avila enters NCAA transfer portal


Indiana State star Robbie Avila, one of the breakout stars of the 2023-24 college basketball season, has entered the NCAA transfer portal.

Avila, a 6-foot-10 sophomore center, averaged 17.4 points and 4.1 assists for Indiana State this season, earning first-team All-Missouri Valley honors. Along the way, he became one of the sport’s most endearing personalities, as the combination of his trademark goggles and playing at Larry Bird’s former school earned him nicknames like “Cream Abdul-Jabbar,” “Larry Nerd” and “Steph Blurry.”

Sources told ESPN that Avila is a strong favorite to follow former ISU coach Josh Schertz to Saint Louis, where Schertz was hired in the wake of ISU’s regular-season Missouri Valley title and a run to the NIT Finals.

Avila’s portal entry is marked by a red exclamation point, which means not to reach out to him, a sign that he’s already made up his mind on his destination.

Indiana State went 32-7 last season and was widely considered one of the biggest snubs from the NCAA tournament. It earned a No. 1 seed in the NIT and beat SMU, Minnesota, Cincinnati and Utah in the NIT, before falling to Seton Hall in the final.

Avila is one of eight Indiana State basketball players to enter the portal in the past two days, which includes the team’s five leading scorers. There’s a chance many of the five end up following Schertz to Saint Louis, although none have marked their portal entry with requests not to contact.

Avila is joined in the portal by guard Ryan Conwell (16.6 PPG), guard Isaiah Swope (15.9 PPG), guard Jayson Kent (13.5 PPG) and guard Julian Larry (11.0 PPG). There’s a strong chance that Saint Louis’ lineup has a similar feel to ISU’s last season.

Avila is from Lake Forest, Illinois, and shows an uncanny feel and touch for the game. He’s a deft passer and helps makes Schertz’s offense flow as one of the most aesthetically pleasing and effective in the country. Indiana State finished No. 1 in college basketball in effective field goal percentage (59.8%) and two-point percentage (62.4%).


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