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Indiana basketball head coach Mike Woodson takes exception to CJ Gunn’s ejection: ‘I’ve expressed that at the top after that ball game’



Indiana basketball
Indiana basketball head coach Mike Woodson expanded on his feelings regarding the CJ Gunn ejection during his weekly radio show. (Jovanny Hernandez / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-USA TODAY NETWORK)

Indiana basketball has had four flagrant fouls and two ejections in the last four games dating back to its loss against Rutgers. It’s an issue that continues to arise and show lack of discipline and leadership.

It hit another boiling  point in Friday night’s 91-79 loss to No. 11 Wisconsin. At the 12:50 mark of the second half, Wisconsin wing Max Klesmit put his head into the chest of Indiana guard CJ Gunn as the ball was being brought up court. Gunn reacted with extending his elbow to the face of Klesmit, drawing an immediate reaction from him as well as the rest of the Wisconsin bench. It resulted in a quick review by the refs, following by an immediate ejection.

Following the loss, Indiana basketball head coach Mike Woodson provided his thoughts on the play.

“In the heat of the battle anything is liable to happen. I’m not happy about it,” Woodson said. “After looking at it, the kid (Max Klesmit) put his head on his (CJ Gunn) chest. He threw a semi-elbow. I don’t think it was something that warranted being kicked out of the game, but again, I can’t control that he was kicked out.”

On Monday during his weekly radio show, Woodson provided more context.

“I mean, a guy sticks his head in your chest — anything is liable to happen in the heat of the battle of a basketball game,” Woodson said. “I’m not saying what CJ (Gunn) done was right. He should’ve been the bigger person and walk away. But, when you don’t punish the guy for instigating it, that’s a problem with me.

“I’ve expressed that at the top after that ball game, because if he (Klesmit) never done that, I don’t think CJ would’ve been walking to the locker room, taking an early shower.”

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Indiana’s previous flagrant fouls consisted of Xavier Johnson’s ejection when he seemed to close-hand hit Rutgers forward Antwone Woolfolk in the groin when coming off of a screen. Then, Both Payton Sparks and Xavier Johnson were assessed flagrant one fouls against Purdue’s Zach Edey. Sparks was called for a hook-and-hold, while Johnson’s came when he gave Edey a forearm shove to his chest as Edey was attacking the basket for a rebound.

The recent calls have stirred up a lot of discussion from Mike Woodson regarding what is and what aren’t fouls.

He addressed that more on Monday as well.

Alec Lasley is the owner of Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Alec has covered Indiana for six years and is a credentialed media member. He has previously worked for both Rivals and 247Sports.