Curbelo left the Fighting Illini in late March after a frustrating sophomore season in Champaign.
A Puerto Rico native who played his high school ball at Long Island Lutheran -- about 20 miles from the Red Storm's campus -- Curbelo had high expectations entering his second season at Illinois. He averaged 9.1 points and 4.2 assists as a freshman, putting up 19 points and six assists against Ohio State in the regular-season finale and 16 points and five assists against the Buckeyes in the Big Ten title game.
Curbelo was a preseason first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2021 and was expected to be one of the best point guards in the country. But he suffered a concussion in an October exhibition game and missed 14 of the Illini's first 18 games because of issues related to the concussion.
Once Curbelo returned at full strength, he showed only flashes of what made him so effective at the high school level and as a freshman. Over the final 13 games of the season, he averaged 6.2 points, 2.6 assists and 2.6 turnovers and played just 10 minutes in Illinois' second-round NCAA tournament loss to Houston.
A top-50 recruit in the 2020 class, Curbelo should fit in well at St. John's. Under coach Mike Anderson, the Red Storm have been one of the most up-tempo teams in the country, ranking No. 1 nationally in pace last season after ranking in the top 25 in each of Anderson's first two seasons in Queens. Curbelo will likely start alongside Posh Alexander, one of the elite defensive guards in college basketball.
St. John's finished 17-15 (8-11 Big East) in 2021-22.