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Stellar defender Aziz Bandaogo transfers to Cincinnati


Utah Valley 7-footer Aziz Bandaogo said Saturday that he is transferring to Cincinnati.

Bandaogo, who was the Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2022-23, helped Utah Valley reach the NIT Final Four. He averaged 11.5 points and 10.4 rebounds, and his 106 blocked shots ranked third nationally.

The Senegal native cited his mental health in his announcement and indicated he is hoping the NCAA will grant him a waiver so he can play this season.

"I feel that Cincinnati is the best place to be for my overall well being," Bandaogo said on Twitter. "I look forward to spending time with the friends and mentors I have near Cincinnati and to building strong relationships with my new teammates and coaches. I hope to be able to play during the upcoming season, and I will work with Cincinnati and the NCAA about the possibility."

Bandaogo spent two seasons at Akron -- located 230 miles northeast of Cincinnati -- before transferring to Utah Valley prior to last season.

After the NIT run, Utah Valley coach Mark Madsen left to become coach at Cal. Bandaogo considered following Madsen.

Duke and Kansas were among the schools seeking Bandaogo's services.

Cincinnati is moving to the Big 12 for the 2023-24 season.

--Field Level Media

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Field Level Media was founded by sports media executives with more than 40 years of combined experience working with the most influential media companies in the industry.

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