Michigan State guard Max Christie's career as a Spartan is over after just one season in East Lansing.
On Monday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the former five-star prospect out of Rolling Meadows, Ill. would hire an agent and remain in the 2022 NBA Draft.
The 6-foot-6, 190-pound freshman started all 35 games he played for the Spartans, averaging 9.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.5 steals and 0.5 blocks for Michigan State during the 2021-22 season. He led the Spartans in minutes per game.
Christie shot 38.2 percent from the floor, 31.7 percent from three-point range and 82.4 percent from the free throw line in his lone collegiate season. Head coach Tom Izzo regularly praised defensive abilities, often stating that Christie was a better defender than he and his staff expected him to be while they recruited him.
After news broke, Izzo released a statement regarding Christie via Michigan State Men's Basketball's Twitter account:
"After taking some time the last few months to focus on preparation and evaluation, Max and his family have decided that he will be signing with an agent and remaining in the 2022 NBA Draft," Izzo wrote.
"I know this has been a lifelong dream for Max and I am excited for him as he takes the next step and continues the process and journey to becoming an NBA player. We appreciate all of the hard work and dedication he gave to Michigan State Basketball this season and wish him nothing but the best."
Christie's departure for the NBA comes as a blow for Michigan State's roster for 2022-23, but several sources have indicated that this had been the decision that Izzo and his staff expected Christie to make.
If selected, Christie will become the 23rd player to be drafted from Michigan State under Tom Izzo. The 19-year-old is not projected as a first round draft pick in many of the popular mock drafts, but some project him in the second round. Christie will look to improve that this week at the NBA Draft Combine, after he was one of 76 players invited to the event.
Christie becomes just the fourth Spartan in history to be a "one-and-doner", joining Zach Randolph, Deyonta Davis and Jaren Jackson Jr.
With Christie's departure, Michigan State is left with just two returning wing players in Jaden Akins and Pierre Brooks, both of whom were freshman alongside Christie a season ago. Akins showed flashes of his potential for the Spartans last season, and is a candidate to have a breakout season in 2022-23. Brooks, meanwhile, was limited in his on-court opportunities a year ago.
Michigan State has now lost three pieces of its primary starting lineup from a season ago, as Christie joins seniors Gabe Brown and Marcus Bingham Jr. out the door. The Spartans also saw veteran center Julius Marble transfer to Texas A&M this offseason.
So far, Izzo and his staff have not added any pieces to their roster via the transfer portal, but two of the players that the staff was looking at, Jalen Bridges and Micah Parrish, have already committed elsewhere. It remains to be seen how Michigan State will fill the holes left on its roster with four major rotation players all exiting.