Duke basketball: Spartans challenge Blue Devils for alluring five-star

Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

New video evidence supports the claim that Max Christie would be a Duke basketball dream come true, but another top suitor is looking to turn that into a Blue Devil pipe dream.

These Blue Devil eyes at Ball Durham see Rolling Meadows (Ill.) shooting guard Max Christie as a bouncier version of current Duke basketball assistant Jon Scheyer, who was a 2010 national champ under Mike Krzyzewski and has spearheaded the program’s chase for the heralded junior.

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The talent evaluators at 247Sports see similarities to former Michigan State great Gary Harris: “a highly-skilled prospect who can play anywhere on the perimeter…hard worker who shows tremendous IQ…the making of being an impact wing at the college level and a first-round NBA draft choice.”

Both comparisons seem fitting seeing that some now see the recruitment of the 6-foot-6, 175-pound five-star — who ranks No. 13 on the 247Sports 2021 Composite — as a battle between the Blue Devils and Spartans (all nine picks into the 247Sports Crystal Ball see him taking his talents in Durham, but his only official visit thus far was to East Lansing two weeks ago).

However, former Dukie and current Northwestern head coach Chris Collins is at least a contender seeing that Christie (the son of a former women’s basketball player in Evanston) and Hamilton (Wis.) five-star small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr. (a fellow 2021 Duke basketball target) were once ballboys for the Wildcats.

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Meanwhile, SI director of basketball recruiting Jason Jordan sees what all Christie accomplished this past season:

“Christie averaged 26 points a game and shot 43 percent from the 3-point line. He also managed 12 rebounds, three assists, two steals, and two blocks a game and led the Mustangs to their first 20-win season since 1990-91.”

Anyone who sees the two recently released mixtapes below should see him as a grand prize for whichever school snags his sweet shooting stroke, his strong-willed moves, his top-grade handles, and his mature, intelligent, Scheyer-esque persona. See for yourself with these junior-year highlights:

And for those who either need or just want to see more:

As for when Christie sees himself planning more visits and then picking his ultimate landing spot, the 17-year-old from the Chicago area — a hotbed for Duke basketball recruiting and also where Scheyer grew up — explained to Jordan that there’s really no rush:

“I’m just gonna go with the flow. I have a lot of time left with my recruitment…I just want to work on improving my game and hanging out with the guys. When the time comes, I’ll take the visits I need to take and talk to the people I need to talk to in order to make the best decision for me.”

Krzyzewski, Scheyer, and the gang have already reeled in a commitment from one junior: Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) five-star small forward A.J. Griffin.

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Outside of Christie and Baldwin Jr. on the 2021 recruiting trail, the Duke basketball staff remains in pursuit of Briarcrest Christian (Tenn.) five-star point guard Kennedy Chandler, Paul VI Catholic (Va.) five-star shooting guard Trevor Keels, The Patrick School (N.J.) five-star small forward Jonathan Kuminga, O’Dea (Wash.) five-star power forward Paolo Banchero, and Andrews Osborne (Ohio) four-star center Charles Bediako.

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Stay tuned to Ball Durham for more Duke basketball recruiting updates, analyses, opinions, and predictions.