Rakeem Buckles to Gophers: “It’s going to happen”


Jan 14, 2012; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals forward Rakeem Buckles (4) pulls down a rebound over DePaul Blue Demons guard Jeremiah Kelly (11) during the second half at the KFC Yum! Center. Louisville defeated DePaul 76-59. Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Richard Pitino’s third player transfer this off-season will likely succeed without a hitch as FIU transfer Rakeem Buckles is looking more and more likely to join the Gophers this upcoming season.

The 6-foot-8 power forward from Miami was a four-star recruit in the Class of 2009 and averaged more than 22.8 points, 13.1 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game as a senior in high school. He committed to Louisville and played two seasons for Rick Pitino, last playing in the 2011-12 season, before transferring to FIU.

Buckles has suffered two major knee injuries in recent years in addition to a concussion and a broken finger, but if he can stay healthy, Buckles will be a major contributor for the Gophers, who are currently lacking in the front court with the graduation of Trevor Mbakwe and Andre Ingram.

The other two successful transfers to the Gophers this off-season are Joey King from Drake and Malik Smith, also formerly of FIU.

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