A trend is developing at Louisville, and it’s not one with which Rick Pitino may want his name associated.
Rakeem Buckles, a 6-7, 215-pound forward who will miss the 2012-13 season with a torn ACL, is transferring from the Cardinal program and will join head coach Richard Pitino, a former Louisville assistant, at Florida International.
The injury he suffered in January was the latest in a series of setbacks for Buckles, which included a concussion, a broken index finger, and another major knee injury.
“Rakeem is one of my favorites during my tenure at Louisville,” said Pitino in a Louisville press release. “He’s just a fantastic young man who we wish great success at FIU. We will miss his personality and work ethic, but he is in good hands with Richard.”
But the developing trend is this: Buckles is the third injury-plagued player to transfer from Louisville this season, following Stephan Van Treese and Jared Swopshire out the door.
Van Treese had trouble with a knee injury, and his convenient transfer opened up a scholarship for top-level 2012 recruit Montrezl Harrell, who decommitted from Virginia Tech and joined the Cardinals this spring. Swopshire worked back from a few different injuries, and is now headed to Northwestern.
The silver lining of Buckles’ transfer is that he will be able to head back home to the Miami area, where he was the Class 4A State Player of the Year as a senior at Monsignor Pace (Fla.).
This past season with Louisville, he averaged 4.0 points and 3.8 rebounds in 11 games.