That’s A Wrap: CJ Gunn

  • 04/22/2024 8:24 am in

Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our player-by-player recap of the 2023-24 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: CJ Gunn.

Gunn (29 games): 3.9 points, one rebound and 34.2 FG% in 12.8 minutes per game.

Previously: Gabe Cupps, Mackenzie Mgbako, Malik Reneau, Kel’el Ware, Kaleb Banks

After a disappointing freshman season in which he shot 2-for-24 on 3s, there was preseason optimism CJ Gunn could take a step forward as a sophomore.

Gunn, an Indianapolis native and Lawrence North product, was one of the top shooters in the state in the 2022 recruiting class. Originally an Archie Miller recruit, Gunn reaffirmed his commitment to the program following Mike Woodson’s hiring in the spring of 2021.

A 6-foot-6 guard, Gunn shot 37.4 percent as a senior at high school. There was hope he could fill the void in an IU program desperate for floor spacers.

The final numbers on Gunn’s sophomore season were much improved — he shot a respectable 34 percent on 3s — but consistency never materialized.

For most of the season, Gunn was a regular part of the rotation and a stellar defender, but his offensive efficiency numbers left plenty to be desired.

Gunn shot just 24-for-70 on 2s (34.3) and posted the second-worst offensive rating on the roster among rotation regulars at 87.2, according to KenPom. His field goal percentage on 2s was the worst on the roster and he often took long 2-pointers, the least efficient shot in basketball.

He scored in double figures three times, with two of the efforts coming in complete blowouts (at Purdue, Nebraska in the Big Ten tournament). His best game was a 10-point performance in a 71-65 victory against Ohio State on Jan. 6 at Assembly Hall. Gunn shot 4-for-7 from the field in 24 minutes.

“His last few days of practice have been tremendous,” Mike Woodson said of Gunn following the Ohio State win. “I’m telling all these guys, you know, it’s how you practice, man, that carries over into a real basketball game.”

However, Gunn fell out of the rotation late in the season in favor of Anthony Leal. During IU’s five-game winning streak, he played a total of four minutes and didn’t see the court in three of the victories.

After the season, Gunn entered his name in the transfer portal and in late March, he announced he would play for Chris Holtmann next season at DePaul. Gunn has two seasons of eligibility remaining.

Bottom line: A fresh start at DePaul will hopefully help Gunn regain his confidence and give him an opportunity for more regular minutes. With Indiana’s emphasis on guards in the transfer portal this spring, he didn’t fit in the program’s plans. An academic All-Big Ten selection last season, Gunn had five multi-steal games last season and should be able to carve out a healthy role as DePaul looks to dig out of the basement of the Big East.

Quotable: “I mean, that just comes from work he puts in. CJ is in the gym all the time and now you’re just seeing the results. He’s a guy that has high confidence in himself and fears nothing.” – Xavier Johnson on Gunn following Indiana’s win against Ohio State in early January.

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