Rakeem Buckles

Rakeem Buckles will transfer from Louisville, join Richard Pitino at FIU


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.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.


AP Poll: Syracuse, Xavier big winners in college basketball rankings

(Brad Horrigan/The Courant via AP)
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The new college basketball AP Poll is out, and it shouldn’t be much of a surprise to you that Syracuse and Xavier are the big winners.

The Orange steamrolled through a good Battle 4 Atlantis field, while Xavier capped a dominating performance in the Advocare Invitational with a 29-point win over Dayton. It should be no surprise that they are where they are.

[MORE RANKINGS: NBCSports.com top 25 | Coaches Poll]

It is a bit surprising, however, that both Texas A&M and Providence made it into the polls with a loss this week. They both deserve to be there, I just wasn’t sure they were both going to be.

Anyway, here is the full poll:

1. Kentucky (59 first place votes)
2. Maryland (4)
3. Michigan State (2)
4. Kansas
5. Iowa State
6. Oklahoma
7. Duke
8. Villanova
9. North Carolina
10. Virginia
11. Purdue
12. Xavier
13. Gonzaga
14. Syracuse
15. Oregon
16. Vanderbilt
17. Cincinnati
18. Texas A&M
19. Arizona
20. West Virginia
21. Miami
22. SMU
23. Providence
24. Louisville
25. Baylor

NEW THIS WEEK: Syracuse, West Virginia, SMU, Providence, Louisville

DROPPED OUT: Indiana, Cal, UConn, LSU, Wichita State