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Five-star big man and Michigan State target Vernon Carey commits to Duke

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve seen this movie far too many times: a blue chip prospect chooses Duke and Coach K over Michigan State and Tom Izzo. Five-star power forward/center Vernon Carey Jr. has committed to the Blue Devils.

Carey plays for NSU University School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he made his announcement live on ESPN today.

He is ranked as the No. 2 player in the entire nation, and No. 1 center, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. Rivals actually ranks Carey as the No. 1 player nationally.

The big man had narrowed his list down to Michigan State, North Carolina and Duke. Duke and Michigan State were considered neck-and-neck going into today, with UNC in a distant third.

Carey took his official visit to East Lansing on the weekend of Nov. 10 for the Michigan State vs. Ohio State football game. He seemed to really enjoy his time on campus, but it wasn’t enough.

Carey told the Detroit Free Press that he could trust Tom Izzo to coach him. He is also expected to be a one-and-done player and declare for the NBA draft following this season, so perhaps the Spartans would have only had him for the 2019-2020 season had he decided to go green.

During the 2017-2018 season, Carey averaged 26.1 points per game and 10.4 rebounds per game. Duke is getting one hell of a player.

This is a big recruiting loss for MSU, but now that Michigan State has lost out on Carey, look for Izzo and the MSU staff to commit its full attention to fellow five-star center Isaiah Stewart out of La Lumiere School — the same high school that Jaren Jackson attended. The Spartans are considered the favorite to land him, according to his 247Sports Crystal Ball Prediction.