With uncertain future, Hartman prepares for senior night

  • 02/24/2017 8:06 pm in

Collin Hartman, Indiana’s lone senior, will be honored on Saturday evening following the regular season home finale against Northwestern.

But this wasn’t the senior night Hartman envisioned before workouts began last fall.

The Cathedral product hasn’t played a single possession this season after suffering a right knee injury during a workout in late September that required surgery.

During his rehab, Hartman has grown into a coaching role on the sidelines and offers a veteran perspective on the bench despite not being able to make a difference on the floor.

“He’s like a coach out there right now,” Tom Crean said of Hartman on Friday. “He can handle a lot. There’s never been a day where I didn’t feel like he was connected in some way to what we are doing.”

With the season winding down and IU’s postseason hopes fading as the losses pile up, the natural question is: What’s next for Hartman?

As of right now, no final decision has been made for where Hartman’s plans will take him after IU. He already has a bachelor’s degree in business management and is currently enrolled in graduate school. Tom Crean said Friday that Hartman would be welcomed back for another season, but added that he’s earned the right to make his own decision on his future.

“There’s a lot of things that go into (the decision),” Hartman explained. “How well my knee progresses, how well my body feels, other opportunities or jobs, and it’s going to take several conversations with family and the coaches, just talking to people in my life that I trust most to have my best interests at heart. After that, I’ll be able to get to the bottom of it.”

Neither Crean nor Hartman seemed too worried about the next step for the Indianapolis native.

“If he decides to continue with this next year, then well, we will have another senior day,” Crean said.

Indiana recruited Hartman for his passing ability and vision on the court, but Crean said his most impressive quality now is his toughness.

In addition to the knee injury this season, Hartman tore his left ACL after his freshman year. As a junior, he played three NCAA tournament games with a broken right wrist and averaged 5.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists.

“With the wrist situation last year, that’s incredible to me,” Crean said of Hartman’s performance, “It’s absolutely incredible.”

Coming back from not only one injury, but three, hasn’t been easy, Hartman admitted. But he was able to grow into a level of mental toughness he never thought possible.

“I didn’t have a lot of mental toughness coming into college,” Hartman said. “I might’ve thought I did, but I didn’t. It started to eat me up, but one of the best things that could’ve happened to me was tearing my ACL. It gave me a work ethic, a drive and a hunger to prove people wrong. It’s one of the biggest things that changed me.”

When asked about his most memorable moments at IU, Hartman recalled several moments from the 2015-16 season. Among them: the comeback win against Notre Dame in the Crossroads Classic, winning the Big Ten title outright at Iowa and cutting down the nets following last season’s win over Maryland in Bloomington.

“I don’t think you can fully comprehend or understand the magnitude of putting on an IU jersey,” Hartman said. “The feeling you get is something else. It’s crazy and it’ll change you, for the better or the worse. It’s been a long ride, but it’s definitely been worth it.”

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  • vicbert caladipo

    It hasn’t sunk in yet because he hasn’t played, but I’m really going to miss Collin. The epitome of class and work ethic. He will be successful whatever he chooses to do. I hope a lot of you got the chance to see the piece on BTNs “The Journey” a couple weeks ago. Good luck Collin, Hoosier Nation loves you.

  • inLinE6

    This guy is tough. I guess his decision depends largely on Crean’s status with the program. He probably doesn’t want to transfer to somewhere else, but no other coach uses him as efficient as Crean does. So yea it’s pretty much up in the air.

  • AndyCapp

    I think CH is a class in and amongst himself. If CTC is coach again next year at IU (this is not the thread to address that) I’m not as sure as you that CH would be utilized properly. Like Max last year, if he wants to continue playing beyond an undergraduate’s degree it might be in CH’s self-interest to look for a different program where he will receive good instruction at his position (I KNOW that Max wasn’t offered that same scholly opportunity at MI, just saying). If he was a guard, one of CTC’s “strengths”, I might feel differently.
    Of course, if getting a graduate degree from IU is important to him and his body could take the rigors, why NOT stay at IU and work towards a free degree.?!? Again, as you said, up in the air. Regardless of his decision, he will ALWAYS be a Hoo-Hoo-Hoosier!

  • TomJameson

    I think Collin is the epitome of an IU basketball player. Very solid fundamentals, a team player, a high BB IQ, and a coach on the floor.

    With his moral character, work ethic, and his thoughtful perspective … Collin has the ability to do whatever he puts his mind to. I have no doubts that his future, whatever it is, will be well thought, out and planned as well as future plans can be.

    What a great teammate he must have been.

  • Dave Carnes

    If the coach at Northwestern stays he should go there.He should have been told when he went down that if he could not play this year he had a scholarship for next.But here at the Clappy The Clown Show we don’t know the difference between a basketball player and a AAU hero.

  • Ole Man

    Sorry, but your post makes no sense at all.
    And while I think TC should leave, the “Clappy” c#@* is asinine.
    The decision is entirely CH’s. That is quite clear to anyone who reads without an agenda.

  • Ole Man

    His decision seems to be “do I want to play one more year or move on to the real world?”
    While I’m sure the status of Crean would play into helping him decide, his decision does not “depend largely.”
    CH has been clear about this for months.
    He really wants to play. But his body may not allow it or why risk another energy. And his bright future is calling even louder.

  • pcantidote

    The only clown here is you.

  • pcantidote

    CH was the afterthought of his recruiting class. I bet there were some people even saying we shouldn’t have recruited him. Now we are left knowing that him missing his senior season cost this team dearly. Says all you to know about his ultimate value to this program. I hope somehow he comes back next year and finishes the story the way we all wanted him to.

  • Piker

    I thought Max was utilized nicely and improved as a player here. I think Colin would fill the same kind of role next season if he chooses to come back.

  • Missing Moye

    I do agree with you that is might not “depend largely” but I certainly think a coaching change could push him one direction or another. I’m not sure if CH has any aspirations to play basketball beyond college (as in, Asia/Europe a la Hulls/Elston), but I’m thinking his options are nearly non-existent right now to pursue that. Another healthy year of college would probably open a few doors. Mind you, I’m not saying Hartman is holding out for a spot in the NBA lottery, but if there’s a place overseas for Elston/Sheehey/Creek (post-injuries) than CH could find some place to play for 2-3 years I’m sure.

    So where it gets interesting is if he DOES want to pursue that but then there is a coaching change. Would he come back under a new regime, or just move on? I’m sure CH loves it at IU, but there would be some uncertainty for him I’m sure. Does he go for even more uncertainty and consider a graduate transfer? In a twist, does he graduate transfer to go play for CTC somewhere? Or perhaps he thinks he’s learned all he can under CTC and would relish the chance to play for another coach and improve his game.

    All of that is not considering the “real life” opportunities he may have in his career path or as a graduate coach. He may not be physically able or willing to keep playing and the right career opportunity comes along and the coaching situation at IU won’t matter in the slightest. We don’t know, but there is a scenario where it may matter significantly to him who is coaching this team next year.

  • Ole Man

    Good thoughts as usual!
    Can’t really add anything.

  • Xavier

    Did he struggle a bit with injuries in HS? He probably wouldn’t have been such a low recruit if not.

  • Xavier

    I understand not playing next year. The mindset after a big injury changes just after the first time. Let alone his second time since being at IU. He seems ready to move on in his life. And he kinda goes out on top after winning the B1G title last year. Good luck to him.

  • sd chuck

    This kid has been a class act his entire time at IU. I wish him nothing but good in whatever he chooses to do. I would expect to see him as a very good coach someday! I’m sure whatever he chooses, he will excel!

  • IULore

    Yeah it’s pretty obvious that max had his best season ever at iu

  • AndyCapp

    I’m not sure Max improved much, he came into the program with a pretty advanced skill set. I agree that he was utilized nicely though, think he was terrific for us.

  • AndyCapp

    Easy to do since he only played one at IU

  • AndyCapp

    Sshhhhh, we are part of the IULore’s idiotic fan base (HIS words)… don’t go posting thoughtful, rational comments 😉

  • IULore

    What? Are you drunk again?

  • AndyCapp

    Again?!? I haven’t gotten sober yet 😉

  • BluegrassHoosier

    It’s a great disservice that undergrads leaving early can’t go through Senior Night. And before a Captain Obvious says “it’s for seniors” I realize that. It should be a night for players who won’t return next season. Other schools do it. We should too. These kids and their families put so much time, energy, and effort into playing for IU that the least the university can do is to provide them with a proper send off.

  • AndyCapp

    Don’t necessarily disagree BUT, other than seniors, we don’t REALLY know who will and will not be leaving. Just conjecture at this point (NBA, playing oversees, etc.) unless players have announced intent to transfer.

  • BluegrassHoosier

    They can always go through Senior night again if their situation changes and they return to school as Crean has suggested with Hartman.

  • AndyCapp

    Not the ONLY one, IULore is stalking me again to call out my soberness.

  • Piker

    Colin will not transfer to any school for another year of basketball. He is a business major. Where better than IU.

  • Kwang


  • Piker

    I have watched Colin play the 5 for us and do quite well. Next year who knows but in my opinion you could bring him in at 3 4 or 5 (in a pinch) and he would be on the plus side of the +/- stats. He just brings it. I would agree on your Max comments no one learns skills in a year it takes many and he is a mack truck. I still see correlation in positioning, subing and smarts.

  • Piker

    Yep and it was how he was utilized by CTC. I am still baffled when Beilein did not offer. Great get by CTC

  • ArghSonOfOhCrap

    Horrible comments disrespectful all around!

    I think this is the first time that I’ve read a comment from a troll and walk away with no clue as to the point of the rant.

  • Actually, I do disagree. It makes no sense for a player who doesn’t know for sure whether or not he’s going to return to go through a “this is my final home game” event. It might be, or it might not be. And honestly, while I support kids leaving early for some reasons (a kid pursuing his professional career makes sense to me, for example), if he’s not ready to commit, then he shouldn’t gain the benefits. That might be the fault of the system — I don’t like the uncertainty the whole process throws into a program in terms of recruiting new players and managing scholarships — but it’s nevertheless a fact that right now, a kid isn’t committing to the university one way or another and there’s a cost to it. Now if a kid wants to commit to leaving, then great, include him.

  • BluegrassHoosier

    There is a cost to a kid getting up in front of adoring fans and his family and saying goodbye? That’s news to me. Benefits are high for the player and his family who have sacrificed so much. Cost is non-existent.

  • I must not have been clear. A player who hasn’t committed to staying or leaving represents a cost to the program — it’s really hard to plan scholarships and recruits when you don’t know if a kid is going pro or not, for example.

    Then, traditions have a purpose — I think it takes away from the kids who have committed to the program, especially seniors over four years, to have a kid who hasn’t committed either way stand up as if it’s his last game. It detracts from the entire nature of the event. And honestly, I wouldn’t want a one-and-done player, for example, to be honored alongside seniors who have played for the program for four years.

  • Piker

    If that is where you want to go with my comment sure. Hopefully on a BB scholarship and IU credits transfer.

  • Outoftheloop

    Great career Collin! The Hoosier Nation loves and honors you!

  • AndyCapp

    Absolutely great get! Sure Beilein was thinking the same thing when we were on our way to winning the B1G! 😀