University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino sent two assistant coaches to Sarasota, Fla., Cardinal Mooney High School on Thursday night to watch high-scoring guard Ryan McMahon in the Class 3-A playoffs.
The 6-foot-1 McMahon finished with 31 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocked shots in front of U of L assistants Wyking Jones and Mike Balado.
Not long after the overtime victory, McMahon received good news from Pitino. The Hall of Fame coach extended an offer to McMahon.
"Its been crazy," McMahon said prior to the offer. "The interest has really picked up since Rick Pitino and Louisville has shown an interest in me, a lot of coaches are seeing what they didn't see before with my game."
McMahon, who only weighs 175 pounds but has a vertical jump of 39 inches, averages just under 30 points a game for a 25-3 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.
Prior to the U of L interest, McMahon said he was likely headed to a Division II or III school. Pitino sent Balado to watch him during a practice last month and those two returned to Sarasota two weeks ago to watch McMahon in a game.
McMahon said after watching his game Pitino compared him "to a young Mark Price."
On Jan. 31, McMahon and his father - David - made an unofficial visit to U of L for the North Carolina game. He said the experience was "surreal."
"It's a good problem to have, the coaches calling you," McMahon said. "But it is a little overwhelming at times. I'm just taking it day-by-day and right now I am worried about my team and trying to help us keep winning."
McMahon said he has picked up interest from Davidson, Ohio U., Jacksonville, Central Florida and others but he said, "I can't think of all of them."
"Louisville is definitely at the top, for sure," he said.
After the Pitino offer, McMahon's father told Cardinal Authority that the family would "sit down and talk" about the next step. It's likely McMahon's mother will want to make a visit to the U of L campus before he makes a final decision.