Robbie Avila is the darling prospect of the 2023-2024 NCAA season but could he fit with the Utah Jazz?

The Utah Jazz should keep an eye on Robbie Avila.

Indiana State v Utah
Indiana State v Utah / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

Robbie Avila isn't like most college basketball players. Mostly because he looks like the kind of college kid that would be playing intermural flag football, and not high-level college hoops. He's not overly domineering for his size, he's not overly physical and he's not someone that seems to have the look of an NBA player.

Yet, he is good. He's very good. Playing for the same college team as Larry Bird, Indiana State, Avila has shown a lot of that famous Bird tenacity. A 6'10 center, Avila routinely takes the ball up the court and drives to the paint with a collection of odd shooting forms that just seem to work. It's a wild collection of shots that fall. And often. He's not some one-trick pony, as he's carried Indiana State to a 32-6 record. A record many felt should've earned them a dance in the NCAA Tournament, not the NIT Tournament they're currently in.

Many couldn't get passed the oddity of Indiana State's next major star, however, and treated them as a sideshow act. The man that many call Cream Abdul-Jabbar was more meme stock than anything, or so we're told. To be fair, we get it. If you were a 1950s baseball scout, you'd look at Avila and outright reject him for not having the right look. He doesn't look like a star. He doesn't look like your conventional athlete, that's not wrong to admit.

But if you've watched him play, you know he has something. Avila is proving he can do it all this season, averaging 17.5 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 4.0 assists, while shooting 53.9% from the floor, 39.6% from three, and 81% from the free throw line. He's all over the place in his skillset and while a lot of scouts favor athleticism and "upside" over actual talent, there's no denying that Avila has talent.

So much so that Indiana State went from 11-20 in 2021-2022, the year prior to his arrival at the school, to 23-13 as a freshman, and to now 32-6 as a sophomore. Avila has had a lot to do with that turnaround.

Now some will point out the losses to Alabama and Michigan State as reasons why Avila's Indiana State quad wasn't really a true team worth putting in the tournament, but considering Avila missed the Alabama game and didn't play much against Michigan State due to foul trouble, that's really not a fair reflection of him or the squad.

Avila looked fantastic in a hear-breaking loss to Drake in the Missouri Valley Conference finals, and since entering the NIT, Avila has gone off.

In a close win against Cincinnati, he went 7-15, resulting in 22 points, as well as six assists, and five rebounds. On Tuesday's night matchup with Utah, Avila went 11-14, scored 26 points, had 10 rebounds and three assists. He's the key to the team succeeding long-term.

And it's got people talking about him as an NBA prospect, somewhat in the vain as Nikola Jokic, an unconventional big, with apparently endless talent. Can that talent translate to the NBA? Only one way to tell. Now, it's not been said if Avila is heading to the NBA this year, many may argue that a true run in the NCAA tournament next season may really help his stock, but a less-than-impressive season may dash his hopes entirely.

So it could behoove him to leave college now. Utah needs a guy like him. He plays very similar to Kelly Olynyk, but with a deeper skillset. He can dribble far better than Olynyk can. He's fantastic in the pick and roll, where he can add an extra pass to a sequence so in the event the ball comes his way off of the pick, he can pass out of the situation if the defense crashes on him too fast.

He's got next-level passing vision, dropping passes that Luka Doncic has made famous, not to mention that he has a nice defensive presence about him, able to knock balls away for a quick steal. The talent is there, it's just how his physical moves compare at the NBA level. If he can't get his shot off, or is too slow of foot that he can't get past NBA defenders of his size, then his skills may end up being moot.

But, the Jazz should still take a chance on him if he does come out. You never know what a guy of his size and skill level can really turn into.