Cincinnati Basketball: Mason Madsen, Mike Saunders Jr announce transfers

Wes Miller has been busy this offseason with the additions of Kalu Ezikpe, Rob Phinisee and Landers Nolley II but a few others have left the Cincinnati basketball program as well. Mason Madsen and Mike Saunders Jr. entered the transfer portal in March after the regular season and recently announced where they will continue their college careers.

Cincinnati Basketball: Mason Madsen, Mike Saunders Jr announce transfers

Saunders entered the portal for a second straight offseason but decided to transfer this time around and ended up committing to Utah. The Indianapolis native will be with a familiar face in assistant coach Tim Morris, who coached at Cincinnati when Saunders was a freshman in 2021. John Brannen was fired following that season.

When Brannen was hired in 2019, Saunders was the first player to get a scholarship offer from the new staff and he committed prior to his senior season at Wasatch Academy in Utah. Saunders will play alongside Madsen’s twin brother Gabe, who also transferred from Cincinnati in 2020.

The 6’0 guard averaged 7.3 points and 2.7 assists in 20.2 minutes per game off the bench, playing all 33 games a year ago, highlighted by a career-best 20 points in a 71-51 win over Illinois. Given his elite speed, Saunders will have a chance to thrive with the Utes after an underwhelming 13-20 record in head coach Craig Smith’s first season.

Saunders scored 3.5 points in 15.5 minutes as a freshman.

Madsen will move to Boston College after two years at Cincinnati. The sophomore guard entered the transfer portal in March after averaging 3.9 points and 1.3 rebounds in 30 games last season. During his freshman year, Madsen’s brother Gabe left and the two were split up for the first time in their basketball careers.

The Minnesota product averaged 6.5 points and 3.0 rebounds in 15 appearances as a freshman but suffered an ankle injury that forced him to miss significant time. Madsen scored 19 points and three assists on 5/9 shooting from 3-point range in the regular season finale, which was an 82-69 win at East Carolina.

Rob Banks and AJ McGinnis also entered the portal this offseason.