Aziz Bandaogo turned into one of the best defensive centers in the country in his lone campaign at UVU last season, and he will now be taking his talents to one of the schools that will officially be joining the Big 12 Conference on July 1.

Bandaogo announced on Saturday that he is transferring to Cincinnati, which is joining BYU, Houston and UCF as new members of the Big 12, widely considered the best men’s basketball conference in the country.

This will mark a return to Ohio for Bandaogo, as he began his collegiate career by playing two seasons at Akron before transferring to UVU.

Because this is his second time transferring, Bandaogo may have to sit out the upcoming season, although when he announced in late April that he was entering the transfer portal, he told ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, “The reason I am entering the portal is just not for my basketball career but more importantly for my mental health.

“I have been going through a very hard period for months where my day-to-day life has severely been affected. I’m grateful for the chance and I hope all my supporters will acknowledge the importance of this decision.”

Listed at 7 feet and 215 pounds, Bandaogo was primarily a reserve in two seasons at Akron, but last season at UVU under the tutelage of head coach Mark Madsen (who left this offseason to become the head coach at Cal), he became a defensive force and finished fourth in the entire country in blocks per game at 2.9 to go along with a double-double, 11.5 points and 10.4 rebounds.

A native of Senegal, Bandaogo was widely considered one of the better remaining players in the transfer portal and will look to help a Cincinnati team that finished fourth in the American Athletic Conference last season as it transitions to the Big 12.