Image provided to The Daily Hoosier by C.J. Gunn

IU basketball recruiting: Q&A with new class of 2022 Indiana commit C.J. Gunn

Indianapolis based class of 2022 guard C.J. Gunn announced his commitment to Indiana on Sunday evening.  The Lawrence North High School product is Indiana’s first class of 2022 commit.

The junior shooting guard averages around 15 points per game for one of the top high school basketball teams in the state of Indiana.  Gunn is considered a 4-star recruit by the 247Sports Composite.  He is currently ranked the No. 107 overall player in the 2022 class by that service, the No. 14 shooting guard, and the No. 4 player in the state of Indiana.

The Daily Hoosier caught up with Gunn to learn more about why he chose IU, what’s next with his development, and much more.

TDH:  Why did you choose Indiana?

Gunn:  I love Indiana’s culture, and my relationship with the coaches and I know a few people on the team and I have a pretty strong bond with them.  They’ve taken to me and they obviously care about me through this recruitment process and they treat me like family.  So I think it’s just the culture, and I think they’ll put me in a good position athletically and academically.

TDH:  How important was it for you to stay close to home and play in front of your family?

Gunn:  I think it’s huge.  They can come to my games and it is only an hour drive for them to come and support me.  Just having that support system near home is great.

TDH:  Who played an important role in helping you reach your decision?

Gunn:  My parents, my sister, my trainers Nick Daniels and Courtney Roby, and Lawrence North assistant coach Gerad Good.

(TDH Note:  Gunn’s father Christopher also mentioned family friends Omar Dillard and Gary Harris, Sr. as important members of the inner-circle.)

TDH:  What aspects of Indiana’s playing style appeal to you and seem like a good fit?

Gunn:  I like to work off of ball screens and the transition game, and they do a good job developing their big guards, so I see myself playing well in that environment and playing on the defensive end as well.

CJ Gunn. Photo by Mike Schumann, The Daily Hoosier

TDH:  Do you know Armaan Franklin and what is your reaction to his development while at Indiana?

Gunn:  I’ve known Armaan for some years now through family relations, and my parents have been close with his parents for a long time.  I’m really cool with Armaan and I’ve been taking him through my recruitment.  I’ve noticed a huge boost in his confidence level from his freshman year to his sophomore year.  He seems a lot more comfortable on the court, and I think Indiana has done a good job developing him from last year.

TDH:  Did you ever get to IU for any kind of visit?

Gunn:  I never went to IU for an official visit, but I went down there for fall break and me and my parents walked around the campus.  I also went down there last year with Lawrence North and we went to one of their team practices.  I love the campus and the environment, and I know that the fans are crazy and I think they’ll love me down there.

TDH:  With COVID, recruiting did go as planned for the class of 2022.  Are you at peace with how everything has turned out?

Gunn:  Yes, I am very happy with the way everything turned out.  It obviously could have gone completely different, but I think everything happens for a reason, and I’m glad to be in this position.

TDH:  Why was it important to you to go ahead and make this decision now?

Gunn:  I just feel like when you know, you know.  They (IU) made me feel comfortable and I feel like they are offering me the best opportunity.

TDH:  How important was how you performed during AAU basketball this summer to your recruitment?

Gunn:  The summer was a huge jump for me because I got injured halfway through my sophomore season and I really didn’t get an opportunity to prove myself.  During the summer playing AAU, it really wasn’t even a full circuit because of COVID, but just me playing against the best competition that we had, I really got a chance to prove myself.

(TDH Note:  Indiana offered Gunn a scholarship in late August soon after a strong performance at the Battle of the Brands event.)

TDH:  What made IU want to start recruiting you more heavily and ultimately offer you and take your commitment?

Gunn:  They love my ability to score at all three levels, and the way I’m a two-way player.  I can score and also defend the best player on the court.

TDH:  For the next 16 months until you get down to IU and start training with the team, what are the developmental areas that you want to improve on?

Gunn:  I need to get my ball handling more consistent, improve my one-on-one attack, and get my shot more consistent.

TDH:  Is there anyone that you are friends with that you are now going to start trying to recruit to join you at IU?

Gunn:  Yes, but I am not comfortable sharing their names right now.

Gunn’s father Christopher also spoke to TDH at length about his impressions of IU during the process:

Christopher Gunn:  Coach Miller and Coach (Tom) Ostrom, and particular with Coach Miller, that relationship that he was able to build with CJ directly, when I would talk to CJ about the different colleges, the way he would describe the relationship he built with Coach Miller directly stood out.  At one point CJ made a comment that he was talking to Coach Miller as much as he was talking to the assistant coaches at the other universities.  If you think about everything going on with COVID, with everything else they have going on, in the midst of everything that Coach Miller is trying to do with getting IU back to its historical greatness, for him to have the wherewithal to talk almost daily with a 17 year old who aspires to go to his program, that level of favor and desire to have him in an Indiana Hoosier uniform landed on me as a no-brainer to take on the challenge of being a Hoosier.

See also:  CJ Gunn video highlight reel


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