The keys to winning in college basketball are...
- Landing talented players
- And stacking loaded classes
Andre Curbelo will help Illinois with that.
The four-star Puerto Rico native committed to Illinois on Friday morning at a press conference.
The 6-foot Curbelo, who plays at Long Island Lutheran High School (NY) chose the Fighting Illini over Indiana, Oregon, St. John’s and Miami, among a host of others. He is a quick, supremely skilled ball handler with very good court vision. He’s not afraid to drive and cut to the hoop and is willing to take on defenders in traffic. You can check out some highlights below:
Curbelo is an obvious fit for Illinois — the Illini already boast a wiry, athletic, on-ball lead guard. He could immediately fill Ayo Dosunmu’s role as the primary facilitator in Brad Underwood’s up-tempo system. Curbelo will take his opportunities to shoot when they arise, but his main duties will be as a distributor and floor general.
Gotta give credit to assistant coach Orlando Antigua for sealing the deal and getting Curbelo to Champaign — Antigua was also instrumental in the recruitments of Andres Feliz, Alan Griffin, Kofi Cockburn and Giorgi Bezhanishvili. New York has rapidly become a major recruiting pipeline for the Illini.
Curbelo is Illinois’ second prep commitment for the 2020 class, joining forward Coleman Hawkins, who gave a verbal pledge in September. Incoming transfers Jacob Grandison and Austin Hutcherson will also be eligible to play in 2020.
As of now the Illini have zero remaining scholarships for next season, but if anyone were to leave early (Ayo), there’s still an open spot there potentially for some other talented player (Adam Miller).
Here’s a look at Illinois’ current scholarship chart.
Here’s some Twitter reaction to Curbelo’s commitment:
GREAT DAY TO BE AN ILLINI!— Brad Underwood (@CoachUnderwood) November 1, 2019
Arguably the best college point guard in the 2020 class. Tremendous haul for the Illini https://t.co/4FdS2pRcCM— Corey Evans (@coreyevans_10) November 1, 2019