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Class of '66 Old Fart

(2022) - SG C. J. Gunn to INDIANA

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In its opening game of the Marion County Tournament, Lawrence North (7-3) was beaten handily by Ben Davis 77-48.  Gunn, finished with 12 points, but did not score his first basket until midway through the second quarter.   Post-game LN coach Jack Keefer said "Gunn, the 6-5 Indiana recruit, is not back to full strength coming off the foot injury that kept him out the first six games of the season.  He’s having a tough time deciphering when to shoot, when to pass, when to cut, when to move,”  Keefer said. “He was hurt in the summer and hurt during the season. The poor guy hasn’t played that much.”

LN won't play again untl Jan. 21, at North Central.

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5 hours ago, Class of '66 Old Fart said:

In its opening game of the Marion County Tournament, Lawrence North (7-3) was beaten handily by Ben Davis 77-48.  Gunn, finished with 12 points, but did not score his first basket until midway through the second quarter.   Post-game LN coach Jack Keefer said "Gunn, the 6-5 Indiana recruit, is not back to full strength coming off the foot injury that kept him out the first six games of the season.  He’s having a tough time deciphering when to shoot, when to pass, when to cut, when to move,”  Keefer said. “He was hurt in the summer and hurt during the season. The poor guy hasn’t played that much.”

LN won't play again untl Jan. 21, at North Central.

Bizarre quote. 

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11 hours ago, goonaha said:

Bizarre quote. 

Yes it is. Sounds like Jack may be going ‘round the bend a little bit.

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6 minutes ago, Demo said:

Yes it is. Sounds like Jack may be going ‘round the bend a little bit.

By all accounts Gunn had looked good in his earlier games coming off the injury. Multiple 20+ and 30+ scoring performances. And now he gets thrown under the bus after one bad game? Odd.

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1 minute ago, goonaha said:

By all accounts Gunn had looked good in his earlier games coming off the injury. Multiple 20+ and 30+ scoring performances. And now he gets thrown under the bus after one bad game? Odd.

Also, take into account that Jack didn't nominate Gunn for the McDonalds All-American game either. Now we know he wasn't going to make it, but he should have been nominated by his coach if you look at the other Indiana kids nominated. Jack is playing some head games right now

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3 minutes ago, goonaha said:

By all accounts Gunn had looked good in his earlier games coming off the injury. Multiple 20+ and 30+ scoring performances. And now he gets thrown under the bus after one bad game? Odd.

Yeah I was just about to post this. He had like 34 points and 6 threes in his first game back. Then had 23 the next game.

Doesn't make sense

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18 hours ago, Class of '66 Old Fart said:

In its opening game of the Marion County Tournament, Lawrence North (7-3) was beaten handily by Ben Davis 77-48.  Gunn, finished with 12 points, but did not score his first basket until midway through the second quarter.   Post-game LN coach Jack Keefer said "Gunn, the 6-5 Indiana recruit, is not back to full strength coming off the foot injury that kept him out the first six games of the season.  He’s having a tough time deciphering when to shoot, when to pass, when to cut, when to move,”  Keefer said. “He was hurt in the summer and hurt during the season. The poor guy hasn’t played that much.”

LN won't play again untl Jan. 21, at North Central.

Did he really refer to Gunn as "Gunn, the 6-5 Indiana recruit" or is that something the author added? If he actually said that it's very weird.

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11 hours ago, TheWatShot said:

This probably isn't fair, but at this point I'm highly skeptical of any player Archie Miller recruited. 

Gunn seems like a good kid but not sure he’s the level of talent we want. 3 star ranked #149 in his class. Could still have an impact but I’d prefer we keep the recruiting of kids outside the top 100 to a minimum. 

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2 hours ago, go iu bb said:

Did he really refer to Gunn as "Gunn, the 6-5 Indiana recruit" or is that something the author added? If he actually said that it's very weird.

My bad.  That particular language should not have been in quotes.  That was Kyle Neddenriep's wording and I apologize for misleading everyone.

This is the paragraph that led up to the actual quoted remarks:

Keefer commended the effort from Omar Cooper, who finished with 11 points and four rebounds. He said Gunn, the 6-5 Indiana recruit, is not back to full strength coming off the foot injury that kept him out the first six games of the season.

These are Keefer's quotes from the newspaper story:  “He’s having a tough time deciphering when to shoot, when to pass, when to cut, when to move,” Keefer said. “He was hurt in the summer and hurt during the season. The poor guy hasn’t played that much.”

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1 hour ago, Class of '66 Old Fart said:

My bad.  That particular language should not have been in quotes.  That was Kyle Neddenriep's wording and I apologize for misleading everyone.

This is the paragraph that led up to the actual quoted remarks:

Keefer commended the effort from Omar Cooper, who finished with 11 points and four rebounds. He said Gunn, the 6-5 Indiana recruit, is not back to full strength coming off the foot injury that kept him out the first six games of the season.

These are Keefer's quotes from the newspaper story:  “He’s having a tough time deciphering when to shoot, when to pass, when to cut, when to move,” Keefer said. “He was hurt in the summer and hurt during the season. The poor guy hasn’t played that much.”

In the games i've watched with Gunn, my analysis is he is very athletic.  He likes to shoot.  But he doesn't/didn't (last season) demand the ball.  He isn't a great shooter but he has nice form and a quick trigger.  His shot needs a lot of reps but has potential.  His athleticism is at times impressive.  He also is very passive on offense when he doesn't have the ball.  Almost, like he doesn't know what to do.  He just stands outside the 3 point line waiting on the ball.  I don't know if that is the offense they run there but based on the Coach's comments, he is seeing the same thing and trying to figure out/motivate CJ to move on offense without the ball????  Some people have a way for always being involved and forcing players to focus on them.  CJ wasn't that guy last year.  Maybe this year, as the focal point and best player he's trying to adjust to the offense running through him and hasn't figured it out yet??

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Game story --

CJ Gunn was noticeably fed up. His body language could hardly be contained. After several empty possessions and swallowed whistles, he looked to the sky and flailed his arms to his sides. 

As Lawrence North got into their inbounds set, Gunn demanded the ball near halfcourt, leaping over and reaching across the defender who denied him to snag the ball before pounding it on the floor on his way to the rim as everyone on the court just watched. 

Gunn, who finished with 20 points, justifiably looked irritated at times while Lawrence North allowed a barrage of 3-pointers and had nearly nothing go its way through the first 16 minutes of Friday night’s game against North Central. But it was moments like those — times where he and his team had enough and chose to go get what they wanted instead of waiting for things to come to them — that aided a tenacious second half effort en route to a Lawrence North 60-48 win at Class 4A No. 9 North Central. 

“Just hang in, they can’t keep shooting like that,” Wildcats coach Jack Keefer said he told his team at halftime. “We had a good defense on them, our plan was good. We’d have a breakdown, they’d get a 3. … They just kept playing, kept working at it, and we got a little better. We were scared, you could tell in the first quarter we were making too many errors.”

North Central came out of the gates and knocked down three straight 3s to get out to an early 9-2 lead. The Panthers tallied seven 3s through the first half, with senior forward David Lloyd accounting for three of those as part of his team-high 14 points.

Before Gunn’s heroics came the plays that resembled the player who entered just his fifth game this season after returning from a foot injury. Fans could see it in certain possessions. Early turnovers. Ill-advised shots. Signs of a player trying to take matters into his own hands.

“He just got back from an injury and he’s trying too hard,” Keefer said of the IU recruit. “He wants to be the man. And he is the man. All he has to do is play. I didn’t take him out one second, the poor kid probably can’t walk now. … He played into the game I thought. I thought he got better as the game went on.”

Flashes, like his dribble drive and a contested wing 3 near the end of the half that shaved down a double-digit lead, kept Lawrence North alive, trailing just 27-21 after two quarters. 

Keefer’s locker room message was well received, as Gunn and Wildcats guard Mac Brown, who wound up with a team-high 23 points, shared an explosive third quarter. Lawrence North opened the half with a 5-0 run, forcing North Central coach Kevin Gant to call a timeout. 

Shortly after, the Wildcats (8-3) snagged their first lead and never looked back as the Panthers (10-4) cooled off.

“I think we were 7-for-14 (from 3) in the first half, and then that second half the shots weren’t falling,” Gant said. “We kind of got happy with it. … We also were trying to do a little bit too much on our own. We weren’t moving the ball. We were trying to do it off one pass or no passes, and when a team is set, every team looks like an amazing defense.”

Behind stifling perimeter defense from Brown and the active hands of Gunn, Lawrence North outscored North Central in the third quarter 19-7. Brown and Gunn combined for 15 of the 19 points. When Gunn chucked up a few questionable pullup jumpers, Brown was there to regain momentum with his play on both ends. 

And it was Brown who erupted into an emotional frenzy when his pullup with just 1:25 remaining in the third lifted his group to a two-point lead. Not even a minute into the fourth quarter, Lawrence North led 42-34 after Brown replicated that same jumper and followed it with fierce stares and words for anyone who would turn his way. 

“He means a lot for us,” Gunn said of Brown. “He gets along with the team perfectly. He’s a character on and off the court, so I think he really brings that energy that we all need and he obviously makes buckets when we need them.” 

Two minutes later, Brown found himself limping to the bench with a calf cramp. His grimace was telling, and for those few minutes, Gunn helped keep the ship afloat. The Wildcats defense tightened up, and Gunn found himself moving as comfortably as ever. 

North Central had one final run to keep its fan section hopeful, cutting Lawrence North’s lead down to five with less than five minutes to play. But Brown refused to let Gunn do things on his own. 

The senior guard returned minutes later, coming in to knock down a huge shot from deep. If that wasn’t enough, he found himself throwing up a lob to Gunn in transition moments later to seal the deal and cap off a remarkable half between the two. Gunn and Brown were the only Wildcats to score field goals in the final quarter. 

Lawrence North clicked for a necessary win over a North Central group fresh off of a Marion County tournament title. But for Gunn, tonight was about more than getting back in the win column. 

“It means a lot,” Gunn said. “Just proving myself as a person, as a player, and proving ourselves as a team. I just had to let everybody know that we here.”

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