The University of Louisville men's basketball staff has only offered five prospects in the Class of 2018.
But one of those '18 players with an offer from the Cardinals was in town this past week and left with some hardware. Brentwood, Tenn., Academy point guard Darius Garland led his team to the title and was named MVP of the 35th annual King of the Bluegrass Holiday Classic at Fairdale High School just outside of the Louisville city limits.
Garland scored 23 in the title game - including 10 straight in the fourth quarter - as Brentwood rallied from an eight-point deficit to take out Louisville Trinity 71-64 in the final.
"This was fun," Garland said. "We did some research and knew this was a big deal. It was a lot of fun."
The 6-foot Garland - ranked No. 9 in the Class of 2018 by Scout.com - said U of L was among a handful of offers he already holds. U of L assistant coach Kenny Johnson was watching him several times during the four games in the KOB.
Garland also said he has offers from Memphis, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia, UCLA and Wak Forest among "several other schools" but noted at this point there "are really no favorites."
"Louisville is way up there," he said. "I like coach Johnson a lot. I went over there this summer and it was a great expeirence meeting all of the coaches and the players. I really like U of L."
While he said he didn't get a chance to get to campus during the KOB, Garland said he hopes to return soon to check out more about the program and noted he was "interested to see what I could do in the future there."
"I like the style they play," he said. "I like to get up and down the court, up tempo and a lot of his stuff goes through guards and I like that."
Garland landed an offer from the Cardinals' staff last summer after a huge showing at the Nike Peach Jam. He came to campus in August when the Cardinals were practicing for the trip to Puerto Rico.
Johnson has been to see him at Brentwood several times.
The last two point guards to win MVP honors at the King of the Bluegrass were Peyton Siva and Quentin Snider.