Ex-Indiana St. star Robbie Avila follows coach to Saint Louis

Former Indiana State star Robbie Avila, one of the biggest breakout players of the 2023-24 season, is following coach Josh Schertz and transferring to Saint Louis, he announced Saturday.

Avila entered the transfer portal earlier this month with a "Do Not Contact" classification, generally an indication a player has made up his mind on where he's attending.

"I will be committing to the Saint Louis University," Avila told "The Field of 68" podcast. "I will be going there to play under Josh Schertz again. I trusted his path for me the last two years and trust what he has planned for me these next few years. I'm excited to get over there and do the same thing we did at Indiana State, win some games."

A 6-foot-10 center from Oak Forest, Illinois, Avila grew into something resembling a cult hero as the focal point of Indiana State's 32-win campaign. His goggles and unique skill set helped him earn nicknames such as "Cream Abdul-Jabbar," "Larry Nerd, "Larry Blurred" and "Steph Blurry."

Avila averaged 17.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists while shooting 39.4% from 3-point range. He earned first-team All-Missouri Valley honors and was the fulcrum for one of the nation's most efficient offenses. The Sycamores were No. 1 nationally in effective field goal percentage, No. 1 in 2-point percentage and No. 11 in 3-point percentage.

They fell short of making the NCAA tournament, but went on a run to the NIT championship game before losing to Seton Hall.

In the days that followed, Schertz would finalize a deal to become the next head coach at Saint Louis, while all five starters -- Avila, Ryan Conwell, Isaiah Swope, Julian Larry and Jayson Kent -- entered the transfer portal. Avila is the only one so far to follow Schertz to Saint Louis, as Conwell committed to Xavier, and Larry and Kent are headed to Texas.