U of L has announced that junior forward Rakeem Buckles will transfer to Florida International where he will play for former Cardinal assistant Richard Pitino.
A native of Miami, Buckles was expected to miss all of the 2012-13 season as he recovers from the second torn ACL of his career. He suffered the injury to his left knee during U of L's loss at Marquette on Jan. 16 and sat out the remainder of the season.
"Rakeem is one of my favorites during my tenure at Louisville," said U of L Coach Rick Pitino. "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."
Buckles missed time during his sophomore season of 2010-11 due to three separate injuries. The last of those three was an ACL tear in his right knee during a Feb. 27 win over Pittsburgh. He missed the remainder of the season and finished the year with averages of 6.8 points and 6.1 rebounds.
Perhaps the highlight of Buckles' career at U of L was his career-high 20-point performance in Louisville's first round loss to California in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. He hit 10-of-11 field goal attempts in that game.
The departure of Buckles means that Louisville now has 12 scholarships spoken for, one under the allotted maximum of 13.
Buckles becomes the fourth player to leave the Cardinals this offseason, joining Jared Swopshire (Northwestern), walk-on Elisha Justice (Pikeville) and classmate Stephan Van Treese (undecided).
Best of luck to Rock, a guy you never heard one bad word about for three years.