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Twin brothers, ex-Mayo stars will be together again for final college basketball season

Apr. 23—SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — It's been a while. But twin brothers Mason and Gabe Madsen are revved up to get their tandem basketball act cranked up again.

That will happen beginning this summer, when the two fifth-year seniors meet up in what has been Gabe's home base for the last three years, Salt Lake City and its University of Utah.

They will not only play basketball together for the Utes, but room together and do all the things the Rochester Mayo graduates forever did as one before going their separate ways after one partial season spent together as freshmen at the University of Cincinnati.

Gabe lasted until the end of December that freshman year at Cincinnati before, desperate for a change, he packed up his things and went on a traveling adventure with fellow Mayo grad Jake McCabe. Four months later, feeling renewed and his basketball appetite back, the 6-foot-6 former four-star shooting guard found a new college home, Utah. It's been his home ever since.

Mason spent two years at Cincinnati before he also determined he needed a change of scenery. The 6-4 guard transferred to Boston College where he spent the past two years before electing on April 8 to again hit the transfer portal. This time it was with his brother in mind and a chance to renew and put closure on a basketball pairing that hadn't been delivered in earnest since their senior season at Mayo.

Both are champing at the bit to be together and playing basketball on the same team once again.

"After we played our last high school game together against Century, there has never been any real closure for us," Mason said. "I didn't think that would be our last game together, but we never did cross over and play any games together (that freshman season at Cincinnati). I was hurt the first 18 games there and Gabe left just after Christmas. Now that we'll be back again for this fifth year, it feels like we'll have come full circle."

Gabe and Mason embark on this final journey brimming with confidence. That's been born from their excellent play the past year.

Gabe has been excellent almost since arriving at Utah, though he has dealt with injuries, particularly his first season there. He's gone from averaging 7 points in Year 1, to 11.6 two years ago and 13.6 this past season.

It was this recently completed year that was his best ever. He shot a career best 44% from the field, including 39% on 3-pointers. Like Mason, the latter is his specialty. Gabe nailed a team-leading 103 shots from there this season.

Mason actually knows even more about injuries than his twin brother. He has had hip, labrum and joint issues much of his career, and only the second half of this past season has he ever really felt right.

The pain mostly gone, Mason became a pain for the opposition as he was inserted into the starting Boston College lineup his last 15 games and excelled in that role. The high point came on Feb. 17 in a home game with the University of Miami when had a career-high 25 points in an 85-77 win. Mason drilled 7 of 12 3-pointers in the contest and finished the year having hit 60 treys.

Now, the twins are bringing their combined act to Utah. It will come with them looking more alike than ever, each now sporting shoulder-length hair and a beard, a throw-back hippie look that would seem to fit well on the famously "earthy" West Coast.

Gabe believes that Mason will be an ideal fit playing next to him, insisting there is plenty of room for a couple of free-spirited twins on the same team.

He also notes that their games are just different enough that there should be ample minutes for them both.

In Mason, he knows the Utes are getting a gem. Nobody knows him like Gabe does.

"Mason is going to be such an important part of this team," Gabe said. "Part of that is his leadership. He wants to eventually be a Division I college coach. He brings a lot of intangibles like that. Plus, our chemistry together is such a unique situation. In my life, I've already played with him for 12 years. We have a ton of chemistry."