BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Collin Hartman made up his mind on Thursday: He’s playing one more season at Indiana.
In a statement issued by the athletic department, the 6-foot-7, 220-pound forward and last link to the Hoosiers’ highly touted 2013 recruiting class announced he would return to school and the court after missing all of last season with an injured left knee.
“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,” he said. “It is important that I am able to come back and perform at the level I was at before the injury occurred.”
Hartman’s career averages, 4.1 points and 2.7 rebounds, may not look impressive.
But the Indianapolis native has seen and done so much in his first four years that he has become a respected leader and a stabilizing force for his teammates.
Hartman tore the ACL in his right knee after his freshman season but recovered in time to play in 32 games as a sophomore.
As a junior, Hartman started 24 games on Indiana’s Big Ten championship team.
In May, he earned his bachelor’s degree and decided to pursue a graduate degree.
Four months later, Hartman injured his left knee during a preseason non-contact drill. He had surgery Sept. 28. As other players went down with injuries throughout the season, all Hartman could do was watch from the bench as Indiana stumbled to an 18-16 record and missed the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in nine seasons. The result: Coach Tom Crean was fired.
Even when Hartman did have a chance to drop hints about his future, he stayed quiet.
During a Senior Night speech in which he proposed to his girlfriend, Hartman said nothing about returning to school.
All along, though, Hartman apparently wanted to keep playing — and his mother, Melissa Compton, wanted him to play, too.
“I’m so happy that…