Healthy Hartman regaining jumper

INDIANAPOLIS — For the first time in a Eric Gordon All-Stars uniform this summer, Collin Hartman was actually taking heat-check 3-pointers.

The last of his four straight 3-pointers in a game against the vaunted Atlanta Celtics in a pool play game at the Adidas Invitational on Thursday night came off a cross-over dribble with a defender contesting and his feet about five feet beyond the line. Hartman, a small forward at Catherdral and Indiana commitment for the 2013 class, prides himself on his basketball IQ. He’s always in the right position, always making the smart play.  But on Thursday, he allowed himself to be a little bold because — for perhaps the first time at a travel event this spring and summer — he was feeling it.

“I was just like, ‘I’m letting it go,’” he said. “Once they started falling, ‘I’m letting it go.’ When you’re a shooter, shoot.”

That confidence was missing in the spring when Hartman, who has also been battling back issues, suffered a concussion that cost him several weeks of travel tournaments. When he finally returned to play with the Eric Gordon All-Stars at the Adidas May Classic in Bloomington, he didn’t seem comfortable, sometimes became too passive and couldn’t get shots to fall. He didn’t even come close to double-digit points in any of the games even though the All-Stars won the 17 and under tournament in the tournament.  His absence and unspectacular performance there caused him to take a precipitous drop in various national recruiting rankings, as he fell out of the Top 150. It also caused some Indiana fans to wonder if the Hoosiers should have waited to watch more of his development before taking his commitment.

“I think any time you’re not able to work on your game and get shots up,” Cathedral coach Andy Fagan said. “It’s obviously going to show on the floor.”

It did, but in June he also showed what can happen when Hartman can spend that time on the floor. After a shaky showing in the first Indiana Junior-Senior All-Star game, Hartman scored 14 points in the second game in Pendleton. He aso had a strong performance in a team camp at Ohio State. Later in the month, he led Cathedral to the championship in the USSFA Indy High School shootout, scoring 18 points in the title game on June 24.

Hartman admittedly relaxed his shooting regimen after that, and he was upset with himself after a miserable shooting performance in a loss during Wednesday’s Adidas Invitational opener. He spent most of the next 24 hours taking shots.

He hit two free throws that helped him find his form, then four straight 3’s to give him 14 points. It wasn’t quite enough to erase all concerns about his development, but it did serve as a reminder of why the Hoosiers believe he’s a Big Ten player.

“I took the loss really hard,” Hartman said. “I felt like I didn’t do anything for my team. I felt like I held us back. I went straight from here to the gym and was there until like 11:30. Then before our 2:30 game, I was in the gym for about an hour and a half. Just getting of shots. My shot hasn’t felt right. It felt good to get a couple of shots to go down. I needed it. It was tearing me apart.”

He didn’t take or make as many shots in Friday’s game, but he kept shooting when he had the opportunities and the EG All-Stars won regardless. He has, however, worked on developing the rest of his game, especially in the paint.

Even though he’s at his best as a jump shooter, Hartman usually initiates his offense from the post, and that’s forced him to be physical. He’s spent most of the summer putting on weight and muscle, and it’s been evident so far that it’s allowed him to hold his position better down low.

“He’s getting stronger,” EG All-Stars coach Ryan Owens said. “He’s paying the price. He’s in the weight room a little bit more, and when you pay the price, you feel like you deserve the ball. But Collin’s always been that type of guy where he’s physical. He embraces that contact. He’s not going to shy away. He’s not gonna let you shoot a wide open layup. He’s gonna make you earn everything.”

Said Hartman: “I wasn’t making shots, so rebounding and defense. That’s what it comes down to. Those are effort plays. You can’t coach effort, you can’t control the ball going in, but you can control if you get down in a stance and ‘D’ up, if you attack the basket, if you don’t let someone deny you the rebound.”

Of course, all of that looks better when the shots are going in.


  1. Reggie (was pUKe is the worst!)-

    Told ya Hartman was a keeper. You must listen to Harvard.

  2. Dustin
    Just got home from the game this afternoon. How can you stand to sit by those EG parents. All they do is complain. Anyway, Hartman continues not to impress me. He looks the part but does not deliver much. Heck he did not even play 1/2 the game. I have seen him at least 12 times and can only think of about 3 where he did much. People say he screens, passes, etc, but to me he is a soft perimeter player who has a very streaky shot.
    Why are you so high on him because I do not see him playing much if he can not be consistent shooter. I would love him to have a Will S game but it has a long way to go

  3. He doesn’t impress me! One good game and you think he’s a keeper Harvard? Really!!!???

  4. Hey Charles,
    I mean, I’m not super high on him. Just saying that when he’s shooting he at least looks like a Big Ten player. I also don’t want to bury the kid before he gets to Bloomington. I think he is, at the end of the day, a role player, and beyond the fact that they’re both 6-6ish swingmen I don’t see a lot of similarities between him and Sheehey. Sheehey has 10 times his intensity.
    I actually kind of like the EG parents. I mean, it’s AAU (actually it’s not really AAU, but that’s what everyone calls it, so we’ll go with it.) EVERYONE complains at AAU games and everyone’s loud and it seems more magnified because there aren’t that many people at each individual game. Any dealings I’ve had with coaches, players or parents with that organization have been good. Plus, I get a laugh out of the fact that Zak Irvin’s mom actually organizes cheers in the stands. Cracks me up. But yeah, all in all, those are really good people.

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