Michigan State lands five-star shooting guard Max Christie for 2021 class

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Tom Izzo/Photo: MSU Athletic Communications

Luke Sloan, Sports Director

EAST LANSING – Less than 10 days after landing Emoni Bates, the No. 1 overall player for the class of 2022, Tom Izzo kept his recruiting momentum rolling, landing five-star shooting guard Max Christie on Tuesday afternoon. 

Christie, standing at 6-foot-6 and 165 pounds, is ranked as the No. 1 shooting guard and No. 13 overall player in the class of 2021 by 247Sports. He averaged 25 points and 11 rebounds per game during his junior season at Rolling Meadows High School in suburban Chicago. 

“My relationship with coach Izzo, I feel like it’s great. It just felt like it was a place that I was needed and a place that I wanted to go to,” Christie told Andy Katz during his announcement on Fox Sports’ college basketball Twitter account. 

“And when I took my official visit there back at the beginning of the year, it was just that gut feeling that I felt like it was right for me just to be able to go there and just experience the college life.”

Christie committed to Michigan State over Duke, Virginia, Villanova and Florida, along with Big Ten foes Michigan, Ohio State and Purdue. He draws comparisons to former Spartan shooting guard and current Denver Nugget Gary Harris, a first-team All-Big Ten performer and first-round NBA draft selection. 

Christie is the second commitment of Michigan State’s 2021 class, joining three-star Detroit Douglass guard Pierre Brooks II, who’s ranked as the No. 68 overall player nationally by 247Sports. 

Bates, who committed to Michigan State on June 29, is listed in the class of 2022, but has the potential to graduate early and reclassify to 2021. The Spartans currently own the No. 4 recruiting class for 2021 as ranked by 247Sports. 

When asked about turning pro and joining the NBA’s G League, Christie said he’s “100% committed” to Michigan State while also stating he doesn’t plan to reclassify. 

“I kind of want to go to college and just experience college, because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Christie said. 

Michigan State has hit its maximum of 13 scholarships for the 2021-22 season, but spots are bound to open due to transfers or NBA departures.

Tom Izzo/Photo: MSU Athletic Communications

For Izzo, Bates’ and Christie’s commitments represent one of the best recruiting stretches of the 65-year-old coach’s career. If Bates reclassifies to the 2021 class, he could team up with Christie and Brooks to form a formidable trio. 

Michigan State is also heavily recruiting four-star point guard Jaden Akins from Farmington, another 2021 prospect. 

Izzo was able to land Christie despite his offer from Duke, a rare recruiting win over the Blue Devils after losing a number of recruits to coach Mike Krzyzewski in recent years, with Vernon Carey Jr. being the most recent. 

“I think coach Izzo, his staff and all my teammates there can push me to be the person that I want to be not only on but off the court,” Christie said.

Follow Luke Sloan on Twitter @LukeSloan_7.