Five-star Vernon Carey Jr. committing to MSU, Duke or UNC today

(Photo: Mike Carter, USA TODAY Sports)

Once again, Michigan State is going down to the wire against a blueblood program for a blue-chip basketball recruit.

Five-star center Vernon Carey Jr., the No. 2 player in the class of 2019 on the 247Sports Composite rankings, is set to reveal his commitment today at noon Eastern.

Carey — the son of former NFL offensive lineman Vernon Carey — has named MSU, Duke and North Carolina as finalists, though it’s believed he’ll end up with either the Spartans or Blue Devils. The 6-foot-10, 275-pound Carey — from University School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida — is ranked behind only James Wiseman, a Memphis commit, on the industry-generated 247Sports Composite rankings for the class of 2019. 247Sports ranks him as the No. 4 player in the class, the No. 2 center and No. 1 player in Florida.

Duke has picked up momentum in Carey’s 247Sports Crystal Ball since Monday, with four new predictions projecting him to sign with the Blue Devils. Duke holds a 76 percent lead in the Crystal Ball predictions, with MSU sitting at 18 percent as of Wednesday night.

MSU’s 2019 class currently has two members: four-star forward Malik Hall and four-star combo guard Rockett Watts.

Hall, from Sunrise Christian Academy in Wichita, Kansas (alma mater of Tum Tum Nairn) signed and delivered his National Letter of Intent in November during the Early Signing Period. MSU has not yet received Watts’ NLI, though he remains committed to the Spartans.

The addition of Carey would elevate MSU’s class from good to elite, and give head coach Tom Izzo a rare head-to-head recruiting win against Mike Kryzewski and the Blue Devils. MSU has lost some high-profile battles to Duke this decade, including five-star recruits Jabari Parker and Tyus Jones.

MSU has had a five-star signee in two of its past three classes — Miles Bridges and Jaren Jackson Jr. — both of whom ended up as lottery picks in the NBA Draft. Inking Carey to play in East Lansing would make it three of four.

Check back at Thursday afternoon to read about Carey’s commitment the moment his decision is announced.

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