One particular 2021 recruit does not intend to disclose favorites, yet it seems the Duke basketball program would be one of them if he did.
Rolling Meadows (Ill.) shooting guard Max Christie is uniquely talented on the court and comes across as uncommonly brainy during interviews. So it's fitting that the 6-foot-6, 175-pound crafty scorer, who appears to remain at or near the top of the Duke basketball wishlist, is handling his recruitment differently than practically all of his five-star peers in one respect.
"I’m not the guy that’s gonna drop a top 10 or top five or anything like that. I will just weigh things out, and then I’ll just commit when the time is right for me."
As for when that time might arrive, Christie has said in the past that he hopes to have the decision out of the way before his senior season begins in the fall. Despite no plans for a formal list, the 17-year-old did list in his blog the seven suitors he hears from most often: Duke, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Purdue, Villanova, and Virginia.
The 247Sports Crystal Ball currently contains eight picks, all pointing to Christie becoming a Blue Devil, which aligns with the fact that the sharpshooter — he hit 43 percent of his 3-point attempts last season — hails from the Duke basketball recruiting hub in northeast Illinois. Not only does Mike Krzyzewski come from the same area, but also Jon Scheyer, the assistant spearheading the pursuit, is a Chicago-area native with a playing style similar to the target.
Now, in terms of traveling to Durham or anywhere else — his only official visit to date was to Michigan State in early March — Christie expressed in his blog both uncertainty and patience:
"I was hoping to be able to get out to schools and connect with coaches and players in person, but the coronavirus has really slowed things down. I’m just playing it by ear to see how or if things could change in the next couple of months. I feel like this situation is making guys in my class commit a little earlier, but as of now, for me, I’m just gonna take it slow."
The Duke basketball coaches have also been in contact as of late with five other five-star prospects from Christie's class: Briarcrest Christian (Tenn.) point guard Kennedy Chandler, Paul VI Catholic (Va.) shooting guard Trevor Keels, Hamilton (Wis.) small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr., O'Dea (Wash.) power forward Paolo Banchero, and Andrews Osborne (Ohio) center Charles Bediako. And they already boast one 2021 commit in Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) five-star small forward AJ Griffin.