The first thing University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino told Alex O'Connell was that he was sorry and the next thing was that he wanted to offer the 2017 shooting guard a scholarship.
The 6-foot-5 O'Connell, who is from Alpharetta, Ga., Milton High School, said Pitino apologized that he was just seeing him for the first time but then told O'Connell that he was "exactly what they were looking for."
"To me, it's not too late for them to get involved," O'Connell said. "I love that coach Pitino was honest and told me it was the first time he had seen me play. I respect that and I think he has belief in me as a player.
"He believes that I can play in his program. No, I don't think it's too late at all."
O'Connell, who also added an offer from North Carolina State on Friday, said he has "watched Louisville for a long time," noting that he was in the Georgia Dome when the Cardinals won the 2013 NCAA title with a win over Michigan.
While the interest is new, O'Connell knew exactly how he would fit in with the Cardinals.
"They let the scores and playmakers do what they do best," O'Connell said. "Coach Pitino has a tremendous history of wanting to do that, so I think that's somewhere that I could fit in. He said they want a scoring wing player and said that I would fit in well there.
"Like I said, I think it's awesome. It's a very great opportunity that I am very interested in."
O'Connell, who averaged 22.3 points a game last season at Milton, was an All-Metro Atlanta North Fulton selection as a junior. His father, Mike, played for Bill Foster at Duke and his brother, Shawn, is a 6-foot-8 forward at Georgia Southern.
Playing for Team United on the Nike EYBL circuit, O'Connell averaged 14.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists a game. He said Duke has started to get involved in his recruitment, while Syracuse and Butler also recently offerers.
O'Connell made visits to Cincinnati and Xavier last month and was offered, while he also has more than 25 other offers, including Auburn, Charlotte, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, Kansas State, Mississippi and UAB.
"You know you think before July that you have the schools figured out and then new schools come in," O'Connell said. "I think now I really have to sit down and figure it all out. Like I said, (Louisville) is a very interesting opportunity and I like it a lot."