Indiana picked up its second class of 2023 commit on Tuesday evening when Centerville, Ohio point guard Gabe Cupps announced he has verbally pledged to the Hoosiers.
The 6-foot-2 Cupps is a 3-star prospect according to the 247Sports Composite, and the No. 20 ranked point guard in the class.
The Daily Hoosier caught up with Cupps to discuss his decision to commit to Indiana.
See also: Gabe Cupps highlight reel
TDH: You must have had a good sense before your visit last week that you might commit to IU if your visit went well. Is that right?
Cupps: Yeah I would call it exactly that, just a confirmation to make sure everything felt right and just to make sure I was making the right decision.
(Note: Cupps attended Indiana’s Friday game against Northern Illinois)
TDH: What was it about Indiana that already had you jazzed about the program before you ever saw them play?
Cupps: The attention that basketball has in the state and at the school is really big, and I think that Coach Woodson and his whole staff developed a great relationship with me to where I trusted them that I could play for them and we were going to win and he was going to get good guys to be able to do that.
TDH: What stood out to you about the game on Friday night?
Cupps: I was focused on the player and coach interactions with each other, and I saw Coach Woodson in practice, he gets on guys a bunch, so I was intrigued to see what he did during games, and I thought he did a good job of correcting but also giving guys confidence to go play freely. I got to see some of the behind the scenes stuff that you never see if you’re 40 rows up.
(Note: Cupps and his family sat in the first row directly behind the Indiana bench)
TDH: You’ve said you want to be part of bringing Indiana back. What makes you want to take that on?
Cupps: I’ve always been one to welcome a challenge. I’m a competitive person and I’m confident enough to where if I go into something I think I’m going to win. It’s just kinda that confidence and seeking of something new that kind of drew me to that.
TDH: Do you have any ties to the state of Indiana or IU?
Cupps: Not really, but my dad has always watched Hoosiers a bunch and things like that, so I definitely have known about Indiana basketball and the traditions have always been really cool to me. My family has never really been a fan of certain college team. Me and my dad just kind of watched good basketball wherever it’s at, and Oladipo and those guys were really good, so their games found their way across our TV quite a bit.
TDH: How important has (IU director of recruiting) Brian Walsh been in this recruiting process?
Cupps: Coach Walsh has done an amazing job. I don’t think that I would be in the position I’m in if he wasn’t loyal to thinking that I’m a good player and bringing my name across Coach Woodson’s desk. I owe a lot of credit to him that I’m able to make this decision now because he was the one who introduced me to Coach Woodson, and everything happened from there.
(Note: Walsh had Indiana involved with Cupps going back to Archie Miller’s tenure)
TDH: Why make the decision now with two years of high school left?
Cupps: I was really confident that IU was the place for me, and didn’t see any reason to sit on that. I think it’s the right place, so I’m going to go ahead and commit and start to build a relationship with the guys coming in and around me, and continue to build those relationships with the coaches.
TDH: Tell me what you thought about the crowd on Friday night.
Cupps: It was really cool. The environment there is always amazing, and it is so cool to see the older people, and it just goes generations down of IU fans, and they’re there pumping their fists and clapping to all of the songs. I just think that’s really cool and reflects on that tradition that IU has.
TDH: Does your experience playing with the Blue Chips help you prepare to play under the spotlight at IU?
Cupps: I definitely think so and wouldn’t feel the same about playing in front of that many people if it wasn’t for that opportunity. I’m super grateful to have those experiences and learn from them and get better from them and have it eventually help me down the road.
(Note: Cupps played with LeBron James’ son Bronny on the North Coast Blue Chips in front of huge crowds prior to his freshman year.)
TDH: Is there anyone you are going to focus on getting to join you as an IU recruit in this class?
Cupps: Not that I know of right now, but I’ll definitely be on the lookout. I’m going to find guys that I think can help us win.
TDH: Is Centerville going to repeat as state champion this year?
Cupps: We’re going to do everything we can. We set our goals this year to not seek comfort. We’re going to try to fulfill that goal, and if that leads to a state championship then it does, but we’re going to hold ourselves accountable to not seeking comfort every day.
(Note: Cupps plays for his father Brook at Centerville. The school won its first state title earlier this year.)
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