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Vernon Carey Jr. commits to Duke

Carey is ranked No. 1 in the 2019 class by Rivals.

Drew Brown - A Sea of Blue

Arguably the best player in 2019 has made his college decision.

On Wednesday, Vernon Carey Jr. announced his commitment to the Duke Blue Devils. His other finalists were the Michigan State Spartans and North Carolina Tar Heels.

For the last two years, Carey’s name has bounced around as one of the top names in the class of 2019. Even though James Wiseman (No. 1 at ESPN) and Anthony Edwards (No. 1 at 247 Sports) deserve the recognition they’re receiving, that shouldn’t take away from acknowledging just how incredibly talented Carey is, as Rivals ranks him No. 1 in the 2019 class.

Standing at 6-9, 260 pounds, being an elite athlete is in Carey’s blood as his father, Vernon Carey Sr., was a star football player for the University of Miami before being drafted 19th overall in the 2004 NFL draft. He played eight seasons, all for the Miami Dolphins, and remained in South Florida where his son attends the University School in Fort Lauderdale.

During Carey Jr.’s junior season, his team won the school’s first ever state championship and started four high-level division I players. The Sharks won the state tournament games by a combined 75 points in blowout fashion.

Carey Jr. is currently still teammates with five star 2020 UK recruit Scottie Barnes. It is very possible that Barnes could wind up as the very best player in his class, so Carey Jr. has had no shortage of talent surrounding him during his last two years of high school.

Historically powerful schools such as Duke, UNC, Kansas, UCLA and Kentucky have been after Carey Jr. for quite some time. Staying true to his Florida roots, the University of Miami was also been believed to be garnering serious consideration from Carey Jr., but they were ultimately not among his final three schools, which were announced two weeks ago.

Also not among the finalists was Kentucky, who has missed on yet another elite 2019 recruit. Not even making his final three made the sting even bigger.

Carey Jr. is one of the more explosive high school players in the country. His bulky frame with soft hands and a soft touch make for quite the arsenal.

Here is how describes Carey Jr.’s game:

“Carey is built like a bull and is a truly powerful player. He does a good job of gaining position in the lane and is really tough to stop within 5 feet of the basket. He makes his moves with good suddenness and a surprisingly quick first step. Combining this speed with his raw power makes him hard to stop in the lane, where he shows a nice array of baby hook shots, spin moves and a soft touch. He also shows some promise with his mid range game and has good shooting form.”

Questions have been raised about his motor and consistently playing at a high level. There are times when he looks somewhat bored on the court, which is understandable considering how he dominates at this level.

However, Carey is absolutely going to be a force in college, and he’ll make sure Duke remains a contender next season.

While Kentucky fans never want to see an elite recruit pick Duke, the good news is the Wildcats won’t face Carey in the regular season. Kentucky will, however, play Michigan State in the 2019 Champions Classic. Carey being part of the Spartans could have been the deciding factor in who wins that game, though we’re still a ways away from figuring out who’s on each roster.

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