That’s A Wrap: Collin Hartman

  • 04/19/2017 8:24 am in

Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our player-by-player recap of the 2016-2017 Indiana Hoosiers. Up next: Collin Hartman. (Previously: Devonte Green, De’Ron Davis, Grant GelonCurtis Jones, Juwan Morgan, Thomas Bryant, OG Anunoby, Freddie McSwainJosh Newkirk, Tim Priller, James Blackmon Jr., Robert Johnson)

Collin Hartman’s injury in September was a major storyline in Indiana’s 2016-17 season.

Hartman suffered a non-contact left knee injury in a workout on September 20 and had to undergo surgery as a result. Even though it was announced at the time that the timetable for Hartman’s return was unknown, the details of the injury were never disclosed.

It wasn’t Hartman’s first knee injury as a Hoosier. In a workout in the spring of 2014 – following his freshman season – the Cathedral product tore his ACL after planting his knee wrong in a drill.

In October, Hartman said that he wouldn’t rule out a return to the floor during the season, but that never materialized.

And as the season moved along, the losses mounted and the lack of leadership on the floor became apparent, Hartman’s absence was cited as a reason for Indiana’s struggles.

Hartman’s injury became even more devastating when Indiana lost OG Anunoby for the season in January, leaving the Hoosiers without two of its top returnees from the 2015-16 Big Ten championship team. Hartman, a strong voice on the bench for his teammates all season, could only watch from the sidelines as the Hoosiers went 2-6 in February.

At Indiana’s final home game, Hartman went through senior night festivities following a thrilling 63-62 win over Northwestern. His speech was capped off by a proposal to his longtime girlfriend on Branch McCracken Court. In many ways, it felt like a moment of finality for Hartman, who offered no clear direction on his future plans at the time.

Tom Crean was fired just two days after Indiana’s season ended with an NIT loss to Georgia Tech in Atlanta. The assumption, at that time, was that Hartman would simply move on from basketball and dive into the next phase of his life.

But something changed following the hiring of Archie Miller, who made it a priority to retain as much of Indiana’s roster as possible for his first season in Bloomington. On March 30, it was announced that Hartman would return for another year in Bloomington, a major coup for Miller.

“This is something that I had been leaning toward since before the season had ended and I needed to make sure that I could fully dedicate myself both mentally and physically to the process,” Hartman said in a statement. “It is important that I am able to come back and perform at the level I was at before the injury occurred.”

Bottom Line: With Hartman back in the fold, Indiana’s frontcourt for next season will now feature one of the Big Ten’s most experienced players. The 6-foot-7 forward has Big Ten championship experience, has played in multiple NCAA tournaments and will be a major contributor that Miller and the new coaching staff will be able to depend on in their first season at Indiana.

Quotable: “We are thrilled that Collin has decided to come back and play next season. Having an individual who has won a Big Ten championship and had success in the NCAA Tournament gives our program a big lift. He brings leadership and intangibles that can do nothing but help us achieve our goals.” – Miller on Hartman’s decision to return to Bloomington for a fifth season.

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  • SCHoosier

    Combine Miller’s schemes and players like JM and Hartman…I’m hoping the Hoosiers will look and be better organized on the floor. Can’t tell you how many times we had players out of position..pointing one another to other positions/defenses and not communicating in switches. Hartman brings a strong b-ball IQ and if he can handle the job physically will bring some stability on both O and D for the Hoosiers.

  • Logical Lurker

    Happy for Collin and happy he decided to stay. He may not know it now, but if he had moved on with 1 year of eligibility left I think he would regret it in the long run. You only have this opportunity once and when you transition into a “former player” there is no going back.

    His experience, leadership and bball IQ will be invaluable next year!

  • BannerOrBust

    He will provide so much experience and depth. What a great asset having him return. He is the player we we’re missing all year. Can’t wait to see him in action. I see him providing leadership and leading by example with that scrappy hard nosed, loose ball diving player he is… Oh and making them 3’s rain!

  • Arch Puddington

    I thing CH is exactly the right guy to be a senior on Archie’s first team at IU, and for all the reasons you mention. CTC lost his job in no small part due to the sloppiness of the product on the floor. Too often it looked bad, and led to poor results. I’ve only seen Dayton play a couple of times, but they sure looked more fundamentally sound than the Hoosiers. CH may not be a physically dominant athlete by the standards of D1 basketball, but he is so savvy that he should be a big help to creating a more coherent product. And as you say, JM should fit the bill nicely as well. We may or may not be a top 20 team next year depending on who comes back, but I absolutely expect to see a significantly more coherent team than we have typically seen in recent years.

  • TomJameson

    “… more fundamentally sound …” That says it all Arch. That’s what has been missing from IU for a long time. If a talented team like IU can just be better fundamentally, and start playing a consistently decent defense, there’s a good chance of beating expectations this coming season.

    After this 2017-18 season, when Archie gets his program established, watch out!

  • TomJameson

    Was very please that Collin decides to return. He is truly a vital piece of this team and will be invaluable in getting IU to their first NCAA visit in Archie’s tenure.

  • Doug Wilson

    I have the strong intuition that Archie believes he can win big now. Not many players are moving quickly, so perhaps the players know they can win big too. A similiar 2001-2002 story line could quite possibly be wriiten again during the 2017-18 season. We did play well against Kansas, UNC, and Michigan State.

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    First player in IU history to have 2 senior nights. so glad you came back CH!!

  • TomJameson

    Good point Doug. I somewhat believe it’s possible this team can do really well next season, effectively blowing by most expectations, and here’s why.
    1) You said it … the talent on this team, even without TB, is pretty significant.
    2) The change from a dribble drive to a motion offense isn’t huge. A motion offense is not as complicated. It would be harder to go from a motion to a dribble drive.
    3) Defense, the biggest issue, will be fixed by working hard at it. Most of the players on this team do know how to play defense, just haven’t been pressed enough to do it relentlessly and consistently. (get it … defense … pressed ..:-)
    4) They all should have a chip on their collective shoulders. Payback for all the talk during the losing streak.

    Those are the main points. There are multitudes of others, I’m sure.

  • marcusgresham

    I’d add to your statement, that having a pretty good season is extremely important for the immediate future (kind of a “duh” statement, but there’s an explanation beyond the obvious.)
    There are going to be several spots opening up on the roster at the end of next season with the large number of seniors (of course, Blackmon and maybe Johnson will already be gone, but that still leaves Newkirk, McSwain, Priller, and Hartman to exit after next season.) That’s four or more spots to bring in freshmen, and you’d sure like to have some positive momentum rolling to entice players from a pretty good crop in the ’18 class.