Gabe Cupps is one of two high school players from the class of 2024 set to join the Hoosiers this offseason. A 4-star recruit out of Centerville High School in Dayton, Ohio, Cupps just wrapped up his career as Co-Mr. Ohio, an award he won on his own as a junior.
Cupps has been the starting point guard for his varsity team since he was a freshman, over which time Centerville has gone 80-8 with a state title. As a senior, he averaged 15.4 points, 6.2 assists, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.2 steals.
At 6’1” 165, Cupps doesn’t stand out on the court for his stature or explosiveness. Where he really shines is his court vision and basketball IQ, two traits that allowed him to find playing time on a high school varsity team before he was finished growing.
Watching Cupps play, the first thing you notice is that he always seems to have his eyes up, scanning the floor for a passing option. Even on rebounds, you can see his first move is to check up the court to see if there’s a fast break outlet before he takes the ball up himself.
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He’s also capable of recognizing when there is no pass to make and scoring for himself when the help doesn’t come on his drives. Cupps can drive and finish with both hands while using his body to protect the ball from interior defenders.
Cupps is also developing as a shooter, which will be welcome news to any Indiana fan hoping for more perimeter scoring. As a true point guard, he’s smart about his 3-point attempts, only taking them when he’s wide open or able to create some space for himself off a dribble. Contested jumpers are not a huge part of his game.
However much the Hoosiers could use his shooting, Cupps is unlikely to see substantial minutes as a freshman. He has the tools to be good in time, but the end of Purdue’s season is instructive in what happens when you ask too much of your freshman backcourt.
Given the current roster construction though, fans will probably get to see Cupps get some serious minutes as the only other true point guard on the roster besides Xavier Johnson pending his injury waiver. Mike Woodson has turned the offense over to Trey Galloway in the past, but adding somebody with experience at the point guard spot means we probably won’t see too much of that going forward.
He has the tools to be a scorer later in his career, but as far as instant impact goes, I expect Cupps to be a guy who goes out on the court and makes his teammates better while limiting turnovers and protecting the ball. Indiana hasn’t had a consistent floor general for multiple years since Yogi left, and Cupps may just be the guy to bring some continuity and stability to Mike Woodson’s offense.