"I talked to him when he was still at Indiana," Mitchell recalls.
But since he too the job, Johnson has remained in contact with the Wolfeboro, N.H., Brewster Academy guard and now it's paid off.
Johnson took U of L coach Rick Pitino to see him at the Reebok Breakout Classic in Philadelphia on Wednesday and the 6-foot-4 Mitchell was the first player the Cardinals offered during the evaluation period.
"This week was very important to me," Mitchell said. "I really felt like I played well. I was happy with it. With Louisville, I had been talking to coach Johnson. Coach Pitino contacted me and offered and said he liked my game.
"I was pretty excited. Louisville is one of the big-time schools and any time you have a big-time school offer you it's a good thing."
Mitchell said he hasn't talked logistics yet with the staff but confirmed that U of L and Indiana were two schools he would "definitely" make officials visits this fall.
Ranked as the No. 35 prospect in the country, Mitchell is from New York City and also owns offers from Boston College, Cincinnati, Creighton, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Providence and South Florida among others.
"I really don't have a list yet," he said. "I am waiting for the end of July and then I will sit down and look at all the schools."
Mitchell said being from New York he has "always known who Rick Pitino is" and noted that he "did great things with Russ Smith."
"They have success with guards from New York City," he said. "I like that and I liked watching what he did with Russ. That's a good thing.
"I just know they have great tradition, they have great fans and they're a winning program. Like I said, when you talk about big-time programs you hear Louisville."