Michigan State Basketball: Can Spartans challenge Duke for Vernon Carey?

SPRINGFIELD, MA - JANUARY 15: Vernon Carey Jr.
SPRINGFIELD, MA - JANUARY 15: Vernon Carey Jr. /

Can Michigan State basketball challenge the mighty Duke Blue Devils for the services of coveted five-star big man Vernon Carey?

In a surprise development that not many saw coming, Vernon Carey trimmed his list of potential suitors to three on Wednesday, cutting hometown Miami. Michigan State, however, made the cut along with North Caroline and Duke.

The five-star big man said he was going to cut his list and a decision would be coming shortly after his final official (to Michigan State) but I don’t think anyone was expecting North Carolina to make the cut and not the Hurricanes.


This is a big development for the Spartans because it’s clear he’s not worried about staying close to home to play college basketball and Michigan State is the lone non-ACC team left on his list. Plus, East Lansing was his last destination and it could have swayed him to choose the Spartans.

Can the Spartans truly challenge the favorite to land him, in Duke?

At this point, I think Michigan State will split Isaiah Stewart and Carey with the Blue Devils. It’d be nice to get both, but whoever commits first, I believe the other will choose the opposite. So do the Spartans have a serious shot with Carey? Absolutely.

Right now, I’d have to say Duke has a slight edge over Michigan State, such as 60/40, but the Spartans could have made up serious ground with the recent visit. North Carolina is running third right now — the spot that many thought was Miami’s.

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Just because Tom Izzo has missed on big-time recruits like Carey before doesn’t mean this recruitment is the same. The Spartans are the Blue Devils’ biggest challengers here, so don’t count them out just yet.