Nysier Brooks - SMU

University of Cincinnati center Nysier Brooks throws down a dunk against Southern Methodist Feb. 2, 2019 at Fifth Third Arena.

The University of Cincinnati men's basketball team may be losing a key player who was expected to return for a senior season.

Nysier Brooks, a junior center from Philadelphia, entered the NCAA's transfer portal Friday. He started all 35 games for the Bearcats in 2018-19, averaging 8.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.

The program is transitioning to a new coach, as Mick Cronin left for UCLA April 9. UC hired Northern Kentucky University's John Brannen Sunday.

Brooks was present and participated in team workouts with Brannen this past week.

Entering the portal doesn't always lead to a transfer, as players are given the chance to weigh their options and still hold the ability to return to their current school.

If Brooks were to transfer to another Division I school, he would be required to sit out a year and have one year of eligibility remaining. He could apply for a waiver from the NCAA to gain immediate eligibility, but it is unlikely it would be granted.

Junior guard/forward Rashawn Fredericks (2.3 points, 2.2 rebounds in 2018-19) is also in the transfer portal. He transferred to UC last summer after two years at Motlow Community College in Tennessee.

Managing Editor

Matt Huffmon has been with The News Record since 2018 as staff reporter, sports editor, and managing editor. He has bylines with The Plain Dealer/cleveland.com, and this summer, he will be a communications intern with Kentucky Speedway.