Duke basketball recruiters could soon face first 2021 rejection

Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

A race that looked like a Duke basketball lock may now be a looming defeat.

From the time the Duke basketball coaches extended an offer to Rolling Meadows (Ill.) shooting guard Max Christie last summer all the way through winter, most insiders anticipated the 6-foot-6, 175-pound five-star to become a Blue Devil due to his brainy personality and Chicago-area roots.

And the 247Sports Crystal Ball continued to unanimously favor Windy City native Mike Krzyzewski and his staff up until Wednesday when the first pick came in for Michigan State. Though six predictions still peg Christie to wind up at Duke, it’s worth noting that none of them are from this calendar year.

Meanwhile, the recent buzz suggests Tom Izzo and his assistants in East Lansing have prioritized Christie in hopes of soon sealing the deal. Considering the No. 11 overall prospect on the 247Sports 2021 Composite wrote in his SI blog in May that he intends to select a college without naming finalists, it’s reasonable to think the silky sharpshooter’s announcement could come at any time.

If his decision does soon pop up, then one might suspect the Spartans would be the choice. After all, Izzo and his gang are the only ones to have hosted Christie for an official visit, doing so in early March.

Is Max Christie the Duke basketball recruiters’ top choice at his position?

Also, because Coach K has appeared as of late to zoom in closer on another two-guard from the class in Paul VI Catholic (Va.) five-star Trevor Keels — not to mention the budding interest in Florida transfer guard Andrew Nembhard — one guess is the Blue Devils either are no longer confident in landing Christie or do not still see him as the best fit.

In addition to Christie and Keels, Duke is still in pursuit of four other 2021 five-stars: Sunrise Christian (Kan.) point guard Kennedy Chandler, Hamilton (Wis.) small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr., O’Dea (Wash.) power forward Paolo Banchero, and Andrews Osborne (Ohio) center Charles Bediako.

ALSO READ: Ranking the chances of 10 finalists for Patrick Baldwin Jr.

No Duke offers in this cycle have yet resulted in rejection. One commitment from a rising senior is currently on the board for the Blue Devils in Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) five-star small forward AJ Griffin.

Related Story. 10 names to know as Coach K eyes epic 2022 class. light

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