University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino has told reporters that he wants to add a shooter to his Class of 2015 recruiting class, which currently has three players.
Pitino and his staff have been all over the country, watching high school and junior-college prospects, and the Cardinals are keeping their eyes on possible fifth-year transfers to join the roster at the end of this season.
The Hall of Fame coach said his staff is "turning over every stone."
Pitino found a potential hidden gem recently when he watched Sarasota, Fla., Cardinal Mooney high-scoring senior guard Ryan McMahon. Pitino saw McMahon last Friday night and the following day the 6-foot-1 guard was on an official visit to U of L.
"It's all been a whirlwind," McMahon's father, David, said after the visit last weekend to U of L. McMahon left campus on Sunday without a scholarship offer, but Pitino told him he wanted two other members of his staff to watch him before he extended an offer.
McMahon, who has created a bit of a stir in the college basketball recruiting world, helped Cardinal Mooney to a fourth straight district title on Friday night when he netted 32 points. Pitino first took notice when ESPN's Dick Vitale - whose has grandkids that attend Cardinal Mooney - sent the coach a text about McMahon.
"It's been incredible," McMahon said of his rise. "Coach Pitino is great and being at Louisville was an awesome experience. It's all happened so fast for me.
"He said he wanted his other assistant coaches to watch me play and he was probably coming back down with them. But he said I am something they have been looking for and he wants me to be a part of his program. It's exciting for me."
McMahon, who only weighs 175 pounds but has a vertical jump of 39 inches, averages just under 30 points a game for a 23-3 Cardinal Mooney team that plays in Class 3-A in Florida. He scored 26 against LSU signee - and former U of L commit - Antonio Blakeney earlier this season in a game where he fouled out in the third quarter.
An unranked prospect, McMahon said Pitino had a comparison that made him smile.
"He said I reminded him of Mark Price when he was in high school," McMahon said. "That's a very big compliment. At first, he said someone told him I was like Billy Donovan but when he watched me he said, 'That's not Billy Donovan, that's a young Mark Price'."
The interest from Louisville has sparked several other schools to take notice. He said prior to the recent interest he was likely going to attend a Division II school.
But since Pitino visited he's fielded calls from Ohio U., Tulsa, Davidson, Jacksonville and several other schools with McMahon noting it's "kind of blown up."
"It's fun but I really liked Louisville a whole lot," McMahon said. "(Pitino) said he saw me a lot at the two and the only question is how good could I play the point.
"He made it obvious that he didn't want me to come there and redshirt. He said I was too good of a shooter to do that and he said they needed a shooter."