The 2014-15 version of the Louisville basketball team just got 7-feet-2 inches taller. Rick Pitino and the Cardinals landed Egyptian big man Anas Mahmoud Monday.
A family friend confirmed Mahmoud's commitment to Louisville Monday after a heated recruiting battle that included offers from Kansas, Florida, Miami, NC State, Auburn, Cincinnati, Louisville, Marquette, Georgia Tech and Minnesota.
Mahmoud (pronounced: ah-nahs mah-MOOD), playing this season at West Oaks Prep in Florida, visited Louisville in January, and the Cardinals quickly became the favorite. He made his pick over the weekend.
Rivals.com national analyst Eric Bossi called Mahmoud one of the top uncommitted players in the nation: "Osama Mahmound showed up from his native Egypt in the fall and has caused a stir. He is quite thin, but has a high skill level and can handle the ball and shoot. Those close to him feel he is more of a faceup four, but at seven-foot plus he's going to be playing center on the college level."
"Most don't comprehend just how good Anas Osama Mahmoud can be," Roundball Rundown Report's Corey Evans said after seeing Mahmoud in the National Prep Showcase. "Only a handful with more long-term potential in 2014 than the Egyptian."
Mahmoud had visited Louisville, Kentucky, Auburn and Cincinnati before making his decision. He had plans to visit Georgia Tech and Minnesota, but those plans are off.
"He's very skilled," West Oaks coach Shaun Wiseman told TheGopherReport.com. "He can score in a couple of ways, with his back to the basket, he can jump and shoot, he can beat people off the dribble. He has a really high IQ and sees the floor. He can pass the ball. On the defensive end of things, he can guard four different positions. He can guard post players, he can guard perimeter guys. He can block shots. He's very multi-dimensional and versatile."
Mahmoud (pronounced: mah-MOOD) is comfortable shooting for 15-18 feet and can even hits threes.
"I've coached 50 or 60 kids that have played Division-I college basketball. He's probably the most skilled big I've ever had," Wiseman said. "You run (plays) where he's facing the basket. You can run (plays) for him like he's a guard. We also run some sets where we give him lobs. We do a lot of stuff through him."