Photo Credit: Louisville and Florida Atlantic Sports Information
MIAMI (Aug. 17, 2012) – FIU Head Coach Richard Pitino announced on Friday the addition of transfers
Rakeem Buckles (Louisville), Dennis Mavin (Florida Atlantic) and
Raymond Taylor (Florida Atlantic) to the men’s basketball squad.
All three players will redshirt the 2012-2013 season and be eligible to compete for the Panthers during the 2013-2014 school year.
“Rakeem (Buckles) is a tremendous addition to our basketball program,” Pitino said. “He is an extremely hard worker who is dedicated on the court as well as in the classroom. Not only are we getting a great player, but we are getting an even better person.
His experience at Louisville will be key in the process of creating a championship program here at FIU. Having a player of his caliber come to our program is invaluable.”
A native of Miami, Fla., Buckles played 59 games at Louisville, averaging 4.6 points-per-game and 4.2 rebounds-per-contest for the Cardinals. In high school, Buckles was named the Class 4A Player of the Year in Florida when he averaged 22.8 points, 13.1
rebounds and 3.5 blocked shots as a senior, helping Monsignor Pace post a 24-8 record and the Class 4A regional finals. He was rated No. 36 in the class of 2009 by Rivals (No. 11 power forward), No. 47 by USA Today analyst Rob Harrington, No. 67 by Scout.com
and No. 78 among the ESPN 100. During his junior year, Buckles averaged 12.6 points and 9.7 rebounds as Monsignor Pace finished with year with a 23-9 record and won its second-straight state championship. That season, he garnered third-team, all-state honors
from the Florida Sports Writers Association and was named First-Team All-Dade County by the Miami Herald.
“We are extremely excited about the addition of Dennis Mavin and Ray Taylor,” Pitino said. “Both guys were integral parts of their championship run in the Sun Belt at FAU two years ago. Both Dennis and Ray are incredible kids who will represent our program
and this great university the right way.
“Dennis brings versatility and great athleticism,” Pitino said. “He can play multiple positions offensively and will be tough to go against in our press. I expect him to make a huge impact on the success of our team. He’s a very talented player who we will
look forward to seeing in a Panther uniform.”
Mavin spent the last two seasons with Florida Atlantic, where the Gainesville, Fla., native played in 54 games. For his career, he averaged 5.7 points-per-game and 2.3 rebounds-per-contest for the Owls. Last season, Mavin averaged 5.0 points-per-game in
28 games. Prior to his time at FAU, Mavin played his first three years of high school ball at Gainesville-Eastside, prior to transferring to The Rock as a senior. He helped the Lions to a 22-7 record as a senior and was named FACA's North Central Florida 1A
Player of the Year. Mavin averaged 15.1 points-per-game as a senior despite playing much of the season with an ankle injury, and was named First-Team All-Area by The Gainesville Sun and to the FSWA All-State Team.
“Ray Taylor was an all-league player at FAU who adds another dimension to our team,” Pitino said. “He is a versatile point guard with explosive speed. He can score when needed and is great at getting in the lane and creating opportunities for his teammates.
He will thrive in our pick-and-roll offense. His leadership will also be a huge asset as we strive to become a championship squad.”
Taylor comes to FIU after spending three seasons at Florida Atlantic. The native of Miami, Fla., played in 89 games, starting 66 for the Owls, averaging 11.9 points-per-game and 4.8 assists-per-contest. His 1,037 career points are the eight-most in FAU history
and his 425 career assists rank No. 3 all-time in the Owl record books. Last season, Taylor was the team’s second leading scorer, averaging 8.9 points-per-game. Taylor is a two-time All-Sun Belt Conference selection and a First-Team NABC All-District Team
honoree. In high school, Taylor led Miami Pace to an FHSAA 4A state championship as a sophomore in 2007, then transferred to Plantation's American Heritage High School for his junior and senior seasons. He was named a Second-Team Class 4A All-State player
at Miami Pace as a sophomore and garnered all-tournament honors at the 2007 Class 4A state final four. He earned First-Team Class 3A All-State honors as a senior, marking the third-consecutive year he earned all-state recognition by Florida sportswriters and
members of the Florida Association of Basketball Coaches.
For more information on the FIU men's basketball program, log onto FIUSports.com or follow along on Twitter (@FIUMensBBall).
About FIU Athletics: FIU Athletics is home to more than 400 student-athletes in 18 different sports, and is a proud member of the Sun Belt Conference and an affiliate member of Conference USA (men's soccer). Athletic events are played
in seven different venues on FIU's campuses (Modesto A. Maidique and Biscayne Bay), including U.S. Century Bank Arena and Alfonso Field at FIU Stadium.
About FIU: Florida International University is recognized as a Carnegie engaged university. Its colleges and schools offer more than 180 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in fields such as engineering, international relations,
architecture, law and medicine. As one of South Florida’s anchor institutions, FIU is Worlds Ahead in its local and global engagement, finding solutions to the most challenging problems of our time. FIU emphasizes research as a major component of its mission.
It has 160,000 alumni and enrolls 48,000 students in two campuses and three centers including FIU Downtown on Brickell and the Miami Beach Urban Studios. FIU is a member of the Sun Belt Conference and has 400 student-athletes participating in 18 sports. For
more information about FIU, visit http://www.fiu.edu/