The 6-8, 225-pound Yough High (Pa.) junior finally found some time to take an unofficial visit to N.C. State last weekend for Wolfpack's home loss to North Carolina. N.C. State has been in McCauley's top three, along with Pittsburgh and Maryland, the only one of the trio yet to put forth a scholarship offer.
"It was pretty much everything I imagined," McCauley said of his visit to N.C. State. "The gym is great and so is the staff. It's one of the nicest campuses I've ever been to. The crowd was really loud and the atmosphere was great."
McCauley and his parents made the seven-hour drive from Pittsburgh to Raleigh last Saturday and ended up getting in around midnight. Upon getting up, they took a tour of the RBC Center, met with the staff, took a look around the campus and then went back to the hotel before taking in the game.
"After the game, they weren't quite as happy because they lost," McCauley said. "But we had a real good talk with Coach (Herb) Sendek. He's a great guy and he grew up near me in Penn Hills. His father still lives in Penn Hills and goes to a lot of my games."
That was the expected. Now for the somewhat unexpected.
According to McCauley, when UNC caught wind of his plans to take a trip to the area, assistant coach Steve Robinson put in a call to Yough head coach Brian Zvanor, inviting him to stop in for a visit with the Tar Heels staff.
McCauley, who never expected to be pursued by the likes of the top ACC schools coming from a football area, was enamored to say the least.
"I got a chance to talk to Roy Williams and he said he really likes the way I play," McCauley said. "He told me he was planning on seeing me in AAU games this spring. He's coached so many great players and it would be great to play for a great coach like him."
"Just before I got a chance to shake hands with Roy Williams, I was just watching him walk by me and thinking that's really him," he added. "I was hoping I'd actually get to meet him. As it turns out, we sat in his office for an hour and talked to him like we'd been friends forever."
Maryland – if it offered - was basically a no-brainer of sorts for McCauley and a dream school, but that has changed after a chance to get a first-hand look at N.C. State and with the Tar Heels stepping to the picture.
"It definitely does change things," he said. "Nothing is better than Tobacco Road. With UNC and getting a chance to see N.C. State, it's really opened my mind up a lot more."
Now McCauley, whose junior season ended about two weeks ago, will just work on his game and also hit the weight room prior to the start of the summer season. He'll once again play with the Pittsburgh JOTS, who plan to make April appearances at Boo Williams, Charlie Weber (D.C.) and the Kingwood Classic (Houston, Texas).
Scouts View: "McCauley is a guy who is going to heat up this spring. He's got size to play a little combo forward in college. However, it's his ability to play facing the basket that has college scouts flocking to see him. He's got a nice frame and possesses the ability to score the basketball. As the spring goes on his name will heat up."