McMahon 'couldn't pass up' U of L offer

SARASOTA, Fla. - Cardinal Mooney High School guard Ryan McMahon said he couldn't wait any longer to accept Rick Pitino's offer after the Hall of Fame coach called him and extended the offer on Thursday night, so he phoned Pitino on Friday morning and committed. McMahon spoke with Cardinal Authority on Friday night about his future.

Ryan McMahon has been beating the odds on the basketball court most of his life. The senior at Cardinal Mooney High School is only 6-foot and 175 pounds.

McMahon wasn't the main star on a big-time travel team and never really got the attention he felt like he deserved throughout his career.

But all of that has changed now.

McMahon, who averaged just under 30 points a game for one of the top contenders for the Class 3-A state title in Florida, accepted Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino's scholarship offer on Friday and next month will sign with the three-time national champion Cardinals.

"It honestly is surreal," McMahon said. "It's a blessing for me. I'm just glad I had the opportunity to play in front of coach Pitino and that he saw something in me.

"He was so excited when I called him. I love the plan and vision he has for me."

McMahon, who has a 39-inch vertical and a 6-foot-4 wing span, said because he's overcome the doubters for his so long that he's not fretting the folks that say he won't be able to play in the ACC. He didn't have any other Division I offers.

"I'm not focused on what anybody thinks of me," McMahon said. "Coach Pitino likes me and that's all that matters. But there will always be doubters and I can see why.

"I'm not a kid that you would look at and expect to see play at somewhere like Louisville. But they don't see the big picture and the plan coach Pitino has for me."

McMahon, who is hitting 53 percent from three-point range this season, is known as a knock-down shooter and said about his range, "pick me up from the volleyball line."

Pitino saw McMahon several weeks ago and told him he reminded him of a young Mark Price, while assistant coach Mike Balado has seen him three times and assistant Wyking Jones was with Balado at McMahon's 31-point game on Thursday night.

"Louisville did their homework," McMahon's father, Dave who played at Valparaiso, said.

McMahon said once the offer came in from Pitino on Thursday night that he told his family - after several conversations - that he "couldn't pass it up."

"It was too big and too positive to let it go by," he said. "I love their vision for me and how they see me fitting into their program. It's great.

"Coach Pitino said he sees me as a point guard in his system and in that system the point guard score, so he thinks I can come in and be that guy for him."

But for now, McMahon is concentrating on winning a title.

Just after talking to Pitino, McMahon told his team about his commitment and then told them he "didn't want it to do anything to overshadow our run," to a title.

"It's been a great week, but we have work to do," he said.

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