Michigan State Basketball: Vernon Carey Jr. the latest recruit to break Spartan hearts

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

Michigan State basketball missed on another big-time recruit to Duke as Vernon Carey Jr. broke Spartan hearts and picked the Blue Devils.

We all thought this one might be different. Vernon Carey Jr. was looking like a Spartan after Michigan State coach Tom Izzo built a strong relationship with the five-star recruit from Florida, but Duke came in again and swiped the nation’s No. 3 prospect.

It felt different for a while, it really did.

Carey Jr. visited Michigan State — officially — two times. No other school got two officials and the Spartans got his last visit. Jaren Jackson Jr. was his “unofficial” recruiter and that seemed to be working in the Spartans’ favor, but it was clear on Thursday afternoon that he wanted to go somewhere that being an NBA lottery pick is the norm after being a one-and-done.

Sure, Michigan State had two just a year ago — Miles Bridges and Jackson Jr. — but Duke consistently recruits the one-and-done players and Coach K knows how to coach them up.

Should we be angry? Not at all, the kid is just following his dream. He truly loved Michigan State, but ultimately put the Spartans in the friend zone while Duke was given the serious relationship.

Put this in the long line of players who seriously considered Michigan State until the bitter end such as Jabari Parker, Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okaford and who ultimately chose Duke.

Izzo will find a guy to take this spot and it could even be another five-star in Isaiah Stewart, but this one hurts. This one may need time. Carey Jr. just seemed like a Spartan for so long — until he wasn’t.

There will be other talents to come along, but this recruitment will go down as one of those (like Josh Jackson) which fans won’t soon get over.

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As much as it hurts, Spartan fans, it’s time to move on.