Notebook: Hartman’s presence boosts Hoosiers to big win

  • 12/05/2017 7:50 am in

On the backside of a three games in six nights stretch, Indiana used a pair of dominating runs to down Iowa, 77-64, and record its first conference win of the Archie Miller era.

It was the upperclassmen that provided the boost for the Hoosiers (5-4, 1-1 Big Ten) when they needed it most.

With 6:37 remaining in the first half, Archie Miller tested out a frontcourt combination of junior Juwan Morgan and senior Collin Hartman. It immediately paid dividends, as Indiana went on a 21-6 run to head into the break up 15 on the Hawkeyes (4-5, 0-2).

“It was five guys out there playing for each other,” Morgan said. “I think that’s what you saw tonight when those runs were happening. We’re at our best when we’re in best transition. And the only way to do that is to get stops, and I think we pulled those out.”

But Indiana’s double-digit cushion didn’t last long. The Hoosiers missed their first 10 field goals in the second half, allowing Iowa to cut the deficit to one before the under-16 timeout.

“We weren’t playing hard,” Hartman said of the slow start to the second half. “We came out and had a mental lapse, and just thought that since we were up we kind of relaxed. At this level in the Big Ten you can’t relax because you can lose that lead as you saw in a blink of an eye.”

Indiana managed to regroup in large part because of Hartman’s contributions. Just minutes after Iowa’s burst, Indiana responded with an 18-0 spurt to put the game out of reach. The fifth-year senior was the catalyst of the defining stretch, hitting a three, grabbing four rebounds and dishing two assists.

“Collin is a leader,” Miller said. “He’s a fifth-year guy and anytime that your seniors are out there playing well and talking and communicating, good things can happen. That lineup with him and Juwan was really a big key in the first half. And I thought it was a really big key in the second half of regrouping us.”

Monday marked the second consecutive game Hartman has accrued 20 minutes of action. As Hartman works his way back to form, he’s beginning to emerge as the on-court leader Indiana has desparately been searching for. In 20 minutes of play, Hartman scored 13 points and was a team-best +29.

“I’m taking it (day-by-day) right now and staying with the doctors and Tim Garl and just doing rehab and prehab just so nothing else happens,” Hartman said postgame. “It’s a never-ending grind but it’s part of the job, part of playing basketball, and it’s fun because I get more playing time staying healthy.”

Big Ten play goes on pause

With the Big Ten tournament moved up a week to be played at Madison Square Garden, every team in the conference was forced to play two conference games in the first five days of December.

“Playing a Big Ten game here early, you get tested,” Miller said. “You’re on the road and you’re at home. It’s kind of one of those deals where you’ve got to have that bounce-back mentality. It’s tough to do, but I like it.”

After two more Big Ten games tomorrow (Michigan State-Rutgers and Minnesota-Nebraska, the conference schedule will go on hiatus until January. As the Big Ten expands its conference slate to 20 games next season, December Big Ten games could be the new normal.

“It’s inevitably going to be the staple of our league from this point forward,” Miller said. “I think you’ll see multiple weeks of December Big Ten games. That way they can really space the inventory out in January and February where your coaches and your players have a routine and a rhythm.”

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  • Ms hoosier

    My wife was watching the game with me and she was commenting on how Collin keeps making plays. I said that he just seems to always be in the right position to make plays he has a great understanding of where to always be on the floor. I’m really proud for Collin after all that he’s been through

  • Lance76

    We are lucky to have CH back this year. IMHO his stability was one of the things we lacked on the court last year. Wishing he stays injury free this year, along with everyone else.

  • Oldman

    I agree completely!!!! he does seem to be in the right place at the right time and I think it is because he is always moving/looking and anticipating…2 times he moved to the opposite side of the goal on an Iowa shot and stepped into the jump and got both rebounds…..he moved to the correct position and gave himself room to step in…..great rebounds

  • Hardwood83

    I’d like to see a line-up of Green, RoJo, CH, JW and DD. If Devonte can play aggressive, but under-control I think that is our best 5. Still leaves lots of options off the bench too.

  • BKLock

    A high basketball IQ! A coach on the floor! A teammate that makes everyone else around him play better. Thank you Collin for staying this year. Your contributions to this team in this year of transition is and will continue to be invaluable.

  • Ivan Renko

    I like Green and RoJo a lot better as off-ball guards. Green is undoubtedly talented and vital, but gets erratic when he looks for his own shot too desperately. I think Al and JN are most valuable as primary ball-handlers and offense initiators with DG and RoJo looking for position to shoot the open shot or cut to the basket.

  • Oldguyy

    Hartman appears notably stronger than he was two years ago. He may not have the lateral quickness to guard the more-athletic 3’s out away from the basket, but McRoberts is well-suited for that, and hopefully Smith improves to the point where he can fill that role as well. It certainly would be a cruel twist of fate (both for him and for the team) if Hartman were to suffer any further injuries.

  • Vernon Aldrich

    May the God of NO INJURY protect Collin Hartman for the rest of his days!

  • Doug Wilson

    ok! One Question I have to ask Hoosier Nation. Why is Archie’s starting five not the following: PG- Al Durham; SG-Green; SF- Hartman; PF- Morgan, and Center- Davis? Let McSwain, Johnson, Smith, McRoberts, Newkirk, and Moore play as reserves. I know at “Dayton” we played seniors. But this is not Dayton. Indiana has about 6-8 players each year who will go on to play Professional ball in some capacity. So our Seniors will be fine after this season. So why not prep this team to have 3-4 returning starters next season?

  • dennis powell

    Totally agree Doug.

  • dennis powell

    Totally agree

  • dennis powell

    Hartman Greene and Morgan are players. They see things develop and react so as to seemingly always be in the right place. The talking heads don’t play up Greene like they do Johnson so fans that know little about basketball see them differently. I made a comment about Johnson being the 6th man and people ripped me apart. He is a real game changer about 10 games a year and the rest of the time he’s just ok. Greene is raw at the point but given the chance could be a Yogi type scoring point guard. Davis is a beast but can’t seem to finish in traffic. He figures that out and we get much better in a hurry. You can throw either Durham or Johnson in that 5th spot but I prefer Durham so as to get him ready for next year.