Illinois transfer Andre Curbelo’s potential fits



In the preseason, it was actually a legitimate debate whether Illinois’ Andre Curbelo gold Purdue’s Jaden Ivey would be the best guard in the Big Ten. The two sophomores were supposed to be in the same tier, but Ivey and Curbelo had completely opposite 2021-22 seasons. Ivey erupted in a huge way for Purdue and turned into a no-doubt lottery pick and All-American. Curbelo banged his head on the ground in an exhibition game, and that was the start of a torturous sophomore campaign. Curbelo missed 14 games with concussion-related symptoms. When he got back on the floor, he had a few moments of brilliance but way more headaches. He was benched for the entire second half of Illinois’ 68-53 loss to Houston in the NCAA Tournament Round of 32. Just eight days later, Curbelo’s two-year run with Illinois is over. Curbelo announced Monday that he is entering the transfer portal.

Curbelo will be one of the most highly sought after prospects in the portal. The former top-50 prospect in the Class of 2019 is an electric point guard, who can be the best player on the floor at any given moment. His passing ability is tantalizing. But a boatload of turnovers and an inconsistent jumper can also bring out a lot of frustrations.

Curbelo needs a new scene and a second chance. Good Curbelo was a defensive threat and the Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year in 2021, who helped the Illini earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Bad Curbelo was unplayable against Houston. But if he puts it all together, there’s a reason why he was named a preseason All-American alongside Ivey by multiple outlets.

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Here are the potential schools that could be in the mix for Curbelo.

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