Injury in the rearview, Hartman prepares for junior campaign

  • 07/28/2015 9:15 am in

After an underwhelming first season in Bloomington, expectations for Collin Hartman as a sophomore were tepid.

The Cathedral product appeared in just 16 games during his first season in an IU uniform, totaling 11 points in 72 minutes. At the conclusion of the 2013-2014 season during a workout, he tore his ACL, forcing him to miss the offseason and sit out the program’s trip to Montreal and Ottawa last August.

But Hartman’s 2014-2015 campaign – one in which he averaged 4.8 points and 3.1 rebounds in 19.7 minutes per game – made him one of the surprises of last season and positioned him as a pivotal rotation piece as he enters his junior campaign.

Despite the fact that little was expected out of him leading into his sophomore season, Hartman said last week at Assembly Hall that sticking to the fundamentals are what earned him a role last season.

“It was really just knowing that if I make the hustle plays and do the hustle plays, then I’m going to stay on the court,” he said. “Playing is every kids dream, especially in Assembly Hall, so hustle plays are what kept me on the court. It was really what I had to start doing, because my skill set wasn’t exactly there, so I couldn’t really do much outside of my element. So the hustle plays and the fundamental plays are what really kept me on the court. And that is what I really think gave me the confidence knowing that if I did this, it would help.”

Hartman’s role as a sophomore was unconventional in that, at just 6-foot-6, he started several games at center when Hanner Mosquera-Perea went down with a knee injury.

His best scoring output was 15 points in a win over No. 13 Maryland on January 22 and he followed that up with 12 points on the road in a loss to Ohio State. The additions of Thomas Bryant and Max Bielfeldt, coupled with the continued development of Emmitt Holt, should mean Hartman will shift back into his more natural position on the wing or as a stretch four.

“Those guys are great with Thomas and Max and guys like that down there,” Hartman said. “But as for myself, I just have to really polish my all-around game and be able to play the five if needed. I need to be able to play any position that coach needs and work on my guard skills, getting stronger and quicker to be able to play any of those positions.”

One thing that Hartman says doesn’t cross his mind much now is his right knee. He was forced to play limited minutes at times last season and also sit out some workouts and practices. But he said on Thursday that’s no longer the case. He also looked noticeably stronger in his upper body.

“For myself, getting back into it physically and being able to participate in everything, not having any limitations or not being so much as fearful but just being conscious of my knee, I don’t really have to think about it anymore or do anything about that,” he said. “So it’s great to be able to participate fully in everything that we do.”

As one of IU’s upperclassmen who has experienced multiple offseasons now in Bloomington, Hartman said having his teammates on campus for most of the summer has been beneficial for building relationships on and off the court.

The Hoosiers will face significant expectations this season as most preseason polls have them pegged as a top 15 team entering the fall. That optimism could quickly be tapered if the defense doesn’t make a major improvement.

Indiana ranked just 214th last season in adjusted defensive efficiency. The issue must be solved on both the individual and team levels, Hartman believes.

“I think guys like Max (Bielfeldt), Thomas (Bryant), and Emmitt (Holt) getting stronger like he has and being able to be bigger down low really helps,” he said. “We are also getting a lot quicker with the things we are doing in strength and conditioning, such as keeping the ball out of the paint, keeping guys in front in one-on-one defensively and just all around.

“Starting off individually, you have to do your job, which is to keep your man out of the paint. If you don’t do your job to the fullest of your ability, that’s where the team part comes in, the help side comes over and everyone has to rotate. There’s multiple steps that go in between that, as you know, but it does start off individually with being able to keep your man in front in a one-on-one situation.”

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  • hoosier93

    I’d rather have Emmitt starting. Have RJ and Hartman coming off the bench. We don’t need 5 offensive players on the court at all times. That’s just a silly thought.

  • Gregory Spera

    This team has, IMHO, all all the ingredients necessary to be at least a good defensive team. There is no reason that all this physical talent should only manifest itself on the offensive end of the court. If I, for one, am guilty of “over-hyping the potential of this team,” and they then under-perform this lofty standard, may I suggest that it’s not the fault of my high expectations. I will surely lay blame elsewhere.

  • Bill Graham

    I’m really surprised I thought Hartman would have averaged more than he did. My old man is constantly harping on him saying his feet are too slow and he doesn’t offer us much athleticism…and I kind of disagree; however, 3.1 rebounds a game from a guy that played the 4 most of the time??? (granted hes compensating and out of position) but still that’s not ideal out of your 4 man. I’d ideally like to see the kid avg. 8pts 5 rbds and 3 asts per game (granted the assists are wishy washy). but still a starter (or 6th man) on a potential top ten team should be able to manage at least that. Also plz no comments about Hartman being 7th man…RJ is going to start…thats a given. No need to speculate. Seriously. Its Yogi James RJ Troy and TB done deal. guaranteed.

  • Bill Graham

    Ok so I agree with everything except the, “first team all conf. bit.”….if hes in the right place at the right time and nails threes all yr due to penetration and kick outs then maybe (but still unlikely). Also gotta give it to you b/c nobody has commented on the, “he’s got a big hart, man.” I see what you did there. Clever big Al! very clever!

  • Bill Graham

    I agree on the over-hyping part. We are basing our defensive expectations on our rim protecting freshman (who also seems to have “strange mobility” at least in the hips and knees). I think the sky is the limit…but only if TB is the defensive phenom we had hoped for. Sorry folks but my personal opinion is that Z and NV were better defenders and prospects in general. TB is overhyped at this point because he is the cornerstone of this “improving defense.” My worry is that he is our achilles heel. If he goes down will we be destined to repeat the Purdue game (last year) over and over. Will Giddens eat us up? Hammons? Stone? Davis? Olah even? what happens if TB isn’t the same quality as NV or Z? Just my thoughts nothing absolute.

  • Bill Graham

    Speaking of Notre Dame. just a side comment b/c somebody has to say it… In my opinion Notre Dame has the most underrated player in the entire freshman class. Rex Pfleuger is insane. Completely outplayed Ivan Rabb in the Cali State Championship.

  • Bill Graham

    Man archy you can be super specific when you need to ( I dig it) …but honestly I like the ND comparisons they had 3 outside shooters in Grant, Connaughton, and Vasturia just like us. the main difference between us and them is they had a big guy in place with experience that needed improvement (Auguste) we are relying on a freshman. Also, do you really think we need to be a top 30 defensive team with the shooters we have? MSU was outside of the top 50 in pts against but they still made the final four. Not that I’m completely disagreeing (I personally believe D wins championships as the old adage goes) but with a potential top 10 offense…how much does D matter at this point? (just playing devils advocate).

  • Bill Graham

    To nit pick Arch (since I’m provoking a rebuttal) you said 10 of the 24 final four teams were in the top five defenses which is (42 percent) that means the majority of final four teams are outside that top five group. Could this imply that their high powered offense propelled them to the final four and not their D?

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    omfg, he is sloooooowwwwww!

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    Arch, I embrace your objective commentary! You must be from the Knight era, no BS ever! Thx for your comments. Cheers!

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    ESPN’s 1st gameday is in Missoula MT this year on August 29. I am happy to host any Hoosier who enjoys libation to our fair city to experience a great college pigskin game! 1st round is on me, hope you enjoy epic micro beers!!!!! Lol

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    coaching?!?!?

  • Bill Graham

    Does anyone know where I can find a good lawyer?

  • Bill Graham

    Hey I resent that! We have the greatest coach on the planet! Marni Mooney has worked her butt off for this program!

  • Bill Graham

    Does anyone know where I can find a good lawyer?

  • Bill Graham

    does anyone know where I can find a good lawyer?

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    Dude, u r off a cliff! ur words r ur lie!

  • Bill Graham

    Agreed. But coaching is irrelevant when you have superstars like Hannertime Mosquera Perea!

  • Bill Graham

    does anyone know where I can find a good lawyer?

  • Bill Graham

    does anyone know where I can find a good lawyer??

  • Bill Graham

    Man you post great comments and I agree I’d love to see EH get a chance. but realistically do you think RJ is getting bumped out of the starting lineup?

  • Bill Graham

    Collin Hartman is the single greatest basketball player this university has ever seen.

  • Bill Graham

    Sorry man but if you’re wanting intelligent discussions you’re better off visiting the UK site. Best part is…after a $10,000 donation you can comment on any article!

  • hoosier93

    Realistically? No. In a basketball world that made sense? Yes. RJ didn’t prove enough to me last year that he should be 100% starting over anyone.

  • dwdkc

    ND had a dam* good season. Close in the ACC regular season, won the tournament, and a run to the Elite 8 where they lost by a bucket to an undefeated unanimous #1. IU repeats that and nobody is calling for Crean’s head anymore.

  • dwdkc

    I’ve thought since the season ended that that lineup (w/ JBJ as the 2) was the ideal starting lineup. CH is a nightmare cover for a big 4 and is tough and smart enough to not be a problem on D. Maybe where a team has two skilled and strong bigs he gives up more minutes to a stronger and longer Emmitt and bigger Max, but I expect starting or not that lineup to get a lot of time. Then RJ can spell Yogi at the point, and JBJ at the 2, and also do some 3 guard and end up with close to starter minutes anyway.

  • marcusgresham

    True. People want to point out all the teams that score well and get bounced sooner than they should, but then you have the flip side that often gets ignored. Virginia would be a good example–sometimes it feels like soccer teams outscore the Cavaliers, and they got knocked out pretty early for a #1 seed.

  • marcusgresham

    It’s also nice to have a calm, smart kid coming off the bench who can settle the 2nd unit.

  • marcusgresham

    1. I’ll be curious to see his speed this season, a year removed from the knee injury.
    2. You could have timed Larry Bird’s 40 with a sundial, and he did OK.
    3. Collin is already a better athlete than he gets credit for being (look at his blocked shot numbers from the past season and consider those were mostly while playing out of position.)

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    ur point is . . . . (ohmana hear a good one from you now?) Lmao

  • At the Quarries

    Here you go again on RJ!

  • hoosier93

    Well what has he proven to say he should 100% start?

  • TomJameson

    Hahaha … So, you’re saying if it’s not your thought, it’s a silly thought? LOL

    Starting, initially at least, will be Yogi, JBJ, RJ, Troy, and TB. Subbing a lot will be Collin, EH, Nick Z … getting minutes (in order of # of minutes) will be Juwan, OG, and Harrison.

  • TomJameson

    At this point anybodys starting lineup is a guess … except for mine of course! LOL

  • At the Quarries

    I would favor a 2-guard lineup with RJ getting at least as many minutes as JBJ, if not more. But I guess you are just predicting what CTC would do, and you might be right. I don’t see us competing at an elite level without going bigger, but that’s another discussion.

  • TomJameson

    You’re right, that lineup is what I think CTC will do. Personally I like it to start the game, but I would do a lot of subbing (letting anyone in there play 5 minutes before subbing). I personally think there are 8 players who could start in a variety of lineups. I also hope that we see a mix of them depending on who we play. Going big against the PU type teams, and going “small” (3 quick guards) against others.

    I even wouldn’t mind seeing your lineup. But I will say, I expect RJ to be a very improved player this year. I hope he doesn’t disappoint me.

  • SilentBob

    Fair points, but I believe Collins worth last year didn’t really show up in the box score. As he said himself it was the hustle that got him back on the court. But to me when ya look at our rebounds last year they aren’t the traditional box out rebounds that a Noah Vonleh can provide. It was very much a team effort and this is really highlighted by the Illinois game early in the big season. We did an awesome job of keeping a solid player in Egwu off the boards. I rememeber commenting this after the game on one of those video breakdowns Ryan does, even though Collin didn’t get the rebound, if he hadn’t of boxed out, Egwu would have instead of Troy.

    And offensively his role was really minimized in part because he was out of position and in part because there was no centerpiece for him to work around when he was outside. But to me the ball moved the best last year when Collin was really camping out the corner three and making the smart play when his teammates found him. In resulted in one of three things almost everytime. A) Collin draining a three B) Collin driving and dishing to Troy for a feathery finish C) him swinging it around the perimeter for the hockey assist

  • SilentBob

    And also the coaching staff was limiting him because of the injury and he wasn’t getting starters minutes. Give him 30 minutes and those numbers would be a bit higher. So given no more limitations in practice and games, plus what I said last comment, and I think we should expect his box score numbers to be a bit better next season.

  • SilentBob

    I agree but there are a few things to consider when looking at stats like these. And I’ve probably said this a half a dozen times now. But Kenpoms rating are adjusted to competition so the longer you go in the tourney the more your defense will rise because of the competition (Duke entered the tournament around 50 and finished like 11th but there defense did improve).

    But often the inverse can be true of offense because of a few things that pop into my head. A) you are facing stiffer competition making it harder to score would be the most obvious. B) the anxiety of a single elimination tournament causing players to screw up plays they’d typically make or try to do too much for publicity ( draft stocks move a lot during tourney time). C) ( and this is just off my eyes) but there seems to be a lot more of a “let them play” attitude amongst the officials in the tourney.

  • SilentBob

    And also the unmeasurable factor of conditioning. Some of these good offensive teams might be coming of deep conference runs playing back to back days that shot their legs. And playing with only one day’s rest in the tournament in the round of the 32 or the elite 8 could hamper an offense as well. Which is a big reason I’m very very happy that this new strength and conditioning coach really is big on conditioning and hip speed. Two things this team cna really benefit from in my opinion

  • Bill Graham

    Great point bob. Well said. I wonder how much that knee really limited him. I’d love to see this kid be a bit more nimble.

  • Outoftheloop

    Excellent post, very good facts! However, you miss my point. There are MANY combinations of roads that you can select to take you to a “distant desired place” (the Final Four). In your example you propose creating a basketball program that is a top #30 defense team every year. In my example I propose just scoring 3.6 points more on average and giving up 3.6 points less on average per game. Your proposal, in my opinion, requires a new head coach and staff, new players from top to bottom, a total restructuring of the current basketball program that IU now has. My proposal requires the current head coach, staff and players to just “tighten up the screws” on a pretty good existing structure. Yours will take 4 years, mine will take 4 months!

  • Outoftheloop

    Both are totally doable! That is one 3-point shot or two 2-point shots per game going in for IU and not going in for the opponent! I can count 10 easily of each variety in every IU game last season!