Indiana State Standout Robbie Avila to Follow Coach Josh Schertz to Saint Louis

Indiana State Sycamores center Robbie Avila (21) reacts to a call from the referee.
Indiana State Sycamores center Robbie Avila (21) reacts to a call from the referee. / Grace Hollars/IndyStar / USA TODAY

One of the most beloved college basketball players of 2024 has a new home.

Indiana State center Robbie Avila is transferring to Saint Louis, he announced in a Saturday afternoon conversation with The Field of 68.

Avila, 20, follows coach Josh Schertz, who left the Sycamores for the Billikens on April 6. The move followed Indiana State's best season in decades: the Sycamores went 32–7 during the 2023–24 campaign, posting their best record since reaching the national championship with forward Larry Bird in 1979.

Snubbed by the NCAA men's tournament selection committee, Indiana State advanced to the NIT championship but lost 79–77 to Seton Hall.

Avila averaged 17.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game for the Sycamores in '24, his second collegiate season. Saint Louis, his new team, is seeking its first NCAA tournament berth since 2019.

As Indiana State's national profile increased, Avila became a cult hero in college basketball circles for his versatile style of play—earning him nicknames like "Cream Abdul-Jabbar" and "Larry Nerd."

Patrick Andres


Patrick Andres has been a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated since 2022. Before SI, his work appeared in The Blade, Athlon Sports, Fear the Sword, and Diamond Digest. Patrick has covered everything from zero-attendance Big Ten basketball to a seven-overtime college football game. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.