A knee injury at this time last fall caused IU forward, Collin Hartman to miss all of last season. Collin is back for his fifth season at Indiana and is ready to enjoy his final ride.
Last year’s team got off to a hot start by defeating two top-five teams before conference play had even begun, but the Hoosiers fell apart in the second half of the season and failed to make the NCAA tournament. During the rough stretch last season, it was apparent the team was desperately missing Collin and his leadership on the court.
During his media day press conference, Head Coach Archie Miller sung the praises of his fifth senior. “He’s got a great attitude, number one. He’s got a great feel and IQ for the game. He understands how to play. He’s smart. And I think physically, he’s from what I can tell, just not asking him, physically, I think he’s confident, which is a good thing,” said Miller.
Coming off a knee injury, one would expect Hartman to be a little tentative as he continues to work his way back. “It’s going to take some time to get through five-on-five playing to get his true rhythm back,” Miller said. “But attitude more than anything, his leadership is unquestioned. Every day you know what you’re getting.”
At the end of last season, there were a lot of people around the program that didn’t expect Collin to be back for this season. “It was a very, very tough decision for me personally to initially make the decision if I was going to leave,” said Hartman. “My rehab was going well, and my knee was starting to feel good. I was still getting up shots and stuff. I was shooting one day in Cook, and I was thinking to myself, like, if I got one more shot at it, why not do it? Because you can’t come back and do it. That’s what my mom and everybody kept telling me.”
Hartman is ready to guide this Indiana team much like he was supposed to do last season. “I think you have to lead by example. If you’re not capable of doing the things you’re telling somebody to do, why should they listen to you?” said Hartman.
Hartman was a member of the Indiana team that won the Big Ten title two seasons ago. He most definitely knows what he needs to do for this team. “I’ve been through a lot of basketball in my life here at IU, so I know what it takes to win. I know what winning looks like,” said Hartman. “So when I get the confidence up in my physical abilities again and get in the flow of the game and everything, then I can translate the vocal leadership to that and keep sharing it with these young guys.”