St. John's Red Storm guard Andre Curbelo against Seton Hall...

St. John's Red Storm guard Andre Curbelo against Seton Hall at Carnesecca Arena on Feb. 1, 2023. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Andre Curbelo’s tumultuous tenure at St. John’s is coming to a close after the 6-1 junior guard placed his name in the NCAA transfer portal on Thursday.

There figured to be major roster turnover after new coach Rick Pitino said he could bring in up to eight new players. Curbelo is the seventh current player to enter the portal.

“Thank you to the St John’s fan base for all the love during my time here,” Curbelo wrote in a social media post. “I believe the program is in great hands with Coach Pitino. With that said I have decided to enter the transfer portal.”

When Curbelo transferred to St. John’s from Illinois last summer, it was seen as an important acquisition for the Red Storm. Curbelo starred at Long Island Lutheran High School and was Newsday’s 2020 Long Island Player of the Year in boys basketball. In his first season with the Illini, he was named the Big Ten’s Sixth Man of the Year and was voted to the conference’s all-freshman team.

However, his one season with the Red Storm wasn’t as smooth. His on-court conduct resulted in two ejections. His off-court conduct resulted in two suspensions — one for a single game for what the school termed “violating team rules” and one for three games resulting from an undisclosed transgression.

Curbelo missed the last three games of the season after suffering his second career concussion. He was limited to 19 games with Illinois in 2021-22 because of a concussion. This season, he wore tinted eyewear because arena lighting bothered him.

Curbelo averaged 9.8 points and 4.3 assists in 27.3 minutes over 26 games this season, including 16 starts. He was the MVP of the Empire Classic after scoring 23 points against Syracuse in the November title game.

“Over the last two years, I’ve had a lot of ups and downs,” Curbelo wrote. “I would like to take accountability for my shortcomings as I continue this journey to getting back to myself with the support of my family and a commitment to hard work.”

Pinzon lands at Bryant

Rafael Pinzon, the first of the St. John’s players to enter the portal, has committed to Bryant, according to multiple published reports. The sophomore from Long Island Lutheran averaged 6.1 points in 19 games for the Red Storm.


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