Collin Hartman has been a Hoosier for a long time. The Indiana fan favorite committed to play for IU back in 2010 when he was a sophomore at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis. Even before then he had visions of wearing the candy stripes to live out the dreams of his family. It’s been a roller coaster ride since then, with declining recruiting rankings, injuries, stellar sophomore and junior seasons, injuries, and more injuries. Did we mention the injuries?
Ever since Hartman’s eye opening sophomore year, when Indiana fans were first able to get to know and appreciate Collin the person and his game, Hoosier Nation has been in love. And the feeling is apparently reciprocated, as Hartman recently indicated in an Instagram post that his nearly eight year tenure as a Hoosier commit and athlete is now a lifetime commitment:
Hartman came to IU as part of a six person recruiting class that was ranked in the top five nationally. That class included Noah Vonleh, Troy Williams, Stanford Robinson, Luke Fischer and Devin Davis. Hartman was the only member of the class to play out his eligibility for the Hoosiers.
Often referred to as a “glue guy”, Hartman didn’t have a stat-stuffing career like 4-year teammate Robert Johnson, although some may not realize that he was 12th nationally in KenPom offensive efficiency his sophomore year and finished second in the Big Ten in 3-point field goal percentage and 14th in blocked shots. Ultimately his career arc was derailed by injuries, but he found others ways to impact the team including his presence in the locker room and at practice. He was also named Indiana’s Big Ten sportsmanship honoree two years in a row.
Irrespective of how it all turned out, Hartman certainly had memorable moments that Hoosier fans will carry with them for a long time. Today we take a look back at some of our favorite games and other memorable moments for the 6-7 graduate redshirt senior from Indianapolis.
2018 – at Wisconsin
Hartman did his part to change IU’s miserable losing streak at Wisconsin. He came off the bench to score a career high 18 points and he added four rebounds and a blocked shot. Hartman shot 6 for 10 overall and 4 for 8 from distance. There was a stretch in the game were he was unstoppable. For at least one night in an otherwise injury riddled and altogether frustrating season, Hartman had the look of the guy Indiana fans thought he could be when he announced his return for 2017-18 campaign.
2016 – vs. Chattanooga
For Indiana’s NCAA tournament first round match-up in a tricky 5/12 game, Hartman started both halves but his minutes were limited to only 21 on the night. He had a Hartman like line of 8 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 steals and a block to lead the Hoosiers to victory. Why were his minutes limited — he was playing with a fractured wrist. Classic Collin Hartman stuff. Classic Hoosier stuff. Indiana rolled to victory 99-74.
2015 – vs. Maryland
Playing center, guard and everywhere in between, Hartman frustrated the Terrapins by dragging their big men out to the perimeter and forcing them to guard the versatile sophomore. Playing the most minutes he had played on the season to date (29), Hartman shot 4 of 4 from the field including 3 of 3 on the 3-pointers. He also went 4 of 5 from the line and added 3 blocks, 2 rebounds, an assist and a steal while having no turnovers. The Hoosiers beat No. 13 Maryland 89-70.
Can you imagine? You haven’t played in a game in more than a year and a half, you enter the game to a standing ovation, and almost immediately you find yourself open for a 3-point shot. How many guys are knocking that down? It takes a cool hand. That was Collin Hartman.
It can be difficult to do justice to a player like Hartman with stat lines or highlight reels. You won’t find his name in the record books. As we said, he was a glue guy. The consummate team player. He did a little bit of everything. It might be something different every game — tap outs, steals, blocks, rebounds, assists, charges — whatever it takes to help the team win. Hartman wasn’t afraid to give up his body either. As you can see in this video, Hartman had a “first on the floor” mentality. Or in this case, first into the stands:
A COACH’S PLAYER
Perhaps nothing better illustrates what a player means to a team than how the head coach talks about that player. This is especially true when the coach is talking about a difficult moment like an injury. When Tom Crean first met with the media after it was announced that Hartman had suffered a serious knee injury prior to the 2016-17 season, it was apparent to all how he felt about his senior forward.
“It’s hard, it’s just hard. I just love that kid,” Coach Crean said through tears.
“He’s been through so much, and I know you guys are gonna ask me about timelines but I don’t have a timeline because I’m most concerned about his mindset, he just got back here. That guy was putting so much into getting ready to be our senior leader and we’re gonna need it, we need that right now. But most importantly we need to help lead him.”
You knew we had to. Hartman might have upstaged his entire playing career with this senior day moment. Go ahead, type his name into YouTube and see what is still the first thing that appears. He’s had other senior days since (but hey, who hasn’t), but this viral moment created a lasting memory that was shared with thousands of fans at Assembly Hall.
Thank you for a great Hoosier career Collin Hartman, and thank you for representing Indiana University and its basketball program so well.
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Main photo credit – Jenna Watson/Indy Star