Vernon Carey, the # 2 basketball prospect in the country for 2019, announces what college he will attend on Thursday, December 6, 2018, in Davie, Florida.
Chris Nelsen, Detroit Free Press Specialist

DAVIE, Florida (Michigan) Basketball Coach Tom Izzo was Inexorable His quest for the 5-star man Vernon Carey Jr. from 2019, Duke trainer Mike Krzyzewski fought for the nation's No. 2 high school.

On Thursday afternoon, however, these efforts were not rewarded.

Carey, a 6-foot-10, 260-pound senior at Fort Lauderdale (Florida) University School, verbally linked the Blue Devils during a national televised event at his school, giving Krzyzewski a Another highlight – profile talent and leave a big gap in the recruitment class of MSU 2019.

"It was mainly between MSU and Duke," Carey Jr. said shortly after the announcement. "I just have the feeling that Duke suits me best. the way they would use me over Michigan State. "

More: 5-Star Vernon Carey Jr .: & # 39; I Can Trust Tom Izzo & # 39;

Duke was long considered the favorite to land Carey, though the Spartans made a big push to the end. He said he telephoned Izzo on Tuesday and did not make a final decision by Thursday morning.

"It was probably the hardest decision of my life," Carey said. "It's mostly a business decision."

The No. 2 player in the 2019 class, 245Sports Composite, made Carey three times in East Lansing while recruiting, most recently at the MSU football game against Ohio

"Izzo is a great guy, we have built a great relationship with him, "said Vernon Carey Senior, who traveled to East Lansing with his son for every visit. "We respect Izzo and the Sparties."

The elder Carey knew his son's choice hours before the ceremony on Thursday, which was broadcast live on ESPN.

"It was really close, trust me," said Carey Sr.

While Izzo had lured to East Lansing even before conquering elitist national perspectives – the NBA lottery selected Miles Bridges and Jaren Jackson Jr. – Carey's verbal promise would probably have become his most impressive recruitment result.

"The boys have done an incredible job," said Jim Carr, University School's coach, about recruiting MSU. "They did everything they could. They swing very, very hard. I do not think Michigan State has ever recruited a child from this area before, but they are welcome to get other people.

Although she had opted for the Blue Devils, Carey said he would recommend the Spartans to other top recruiters. His teammate at University School, striker Scottie Barnes, is among the nation's best juniors. Barnes said he talked to MSU coaches "a few times" while recruiting Carey.

"No bridges were fired against (MSU)," said Carey, who wants to submit the NBA 2020 draft.