Report from the Indy Star’s Kyle Neddenriep:
C.J. Gunn did not necessarily have his mind made up on his college destination when Indiana coach Archie Miller offered him a scholarship in August.
“Cincinnati was at the top for a minute,” said Gunn, a 6-5 Lawrence North junior.
Gunn, rated as a four-star prospect and the No. 107 recruit in the nation on the 247sports composite in his class, picked the Hoosiers over Cincinnati on Sunday. He also had high-major offers from Kansas State, Missouri, Wake Forest and Xavier.
“It was the environment and the coaches treating me like family,” Gunn said of the reasons for his decision to pick the in-state Hoosiers. “Obviously I know a couple of the players down there and the location is a factor. All of that combined, and I think it will give me the best opportunity in college.”
Gunn, who was averaging 14.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists through 15 games for now 17-2 Lawrence North, made his decision public during halftime of the Super Bowl.
As a sophomore, Gunn made a splash for the Wildcats, averaging 7.1 points and 2.5 rebounds, while shooting 35.1% from the 3-point line. A thumb injury suffered in January limited Gunn to 15 games, but he picked up his first offer from Kansas State in June and Alabama A&M, Ball State and Miami of Ohio soon followed.
But it was his next two high-major offers — from Indiana and Cincinnati — that intrigued Gunn most. He felt most at home in Bloomington, where he is familiar with Armaan Franklin, Trayce Jackson-Davis and Trey Galloway, among others.
“When I went there over fall break, I was talking to Armaan and he was telling me how the coaches are always going to have your back and want the best for you,” Gunn said. “They are going to put you on the court and give you an opportunity. They put them on the court their freshman year so that’s what I’m looking for my freshman year, too.”
Gunn said he sees some similarities in his game to Franklin, who averaging 12.7 points in his sophomore season out of Cathedral.
“I think we play quite a bit alike,” Gunn said. “I’m a little taller. I think the coaches know my goal is to play at the next level in the NBA. They are going to try to get me there. They see me as a two-way player who can score on all three levels. They think I’m a guy who can go get a bucket.”
Gunn said the pandemic had an impact on his recruitment as he was unable to take visits other than Indiana and Cincinnati.
“I’m committing early so that took away Kansas State and Wake Forest because I didn’t get to visit those,” he said. “I didn’t get to see the campus because it’s father away. I didn’t really get to build a relationship with them.”
Gunn said he has taken more time to watch Indiana in recent weeks to see how he might fit into the program.
“I think I’ll fit in perfectly,” he said. “I’m looking forward to (next season at Lawrence North) to having the ball in my hands a little more and leading the team. I’ll get that experience to be a leader and help me get prepared for college.”