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Hoosiers prospect wants to improve game

At May Classic, Hartman shows he'll be a threat.

Monday, May 16, 2011 - 10:06 am

BLOOMINGTON — Collin Hartman insists he doesn't care. So what that Scout.com doesn't list him or fellow Indiana commitment Devin Davis among the nation's best Class of 2013 basketball players? He's got an upside as bright as a Jordan Hulls free throw (an IU-record 41 straight and counting), and if some Internet expert doesn't see it, so what?

“Somebody tweeted it at me,” he said. “I didn't even know. I don't look at that stuff. I don't worry about it. I have an uncle who does.”

What this Indianapolis Cathedral sophomore does worry about is improving his game. He's nearly 6-8 and can hit three-pointers, drive to the rim and do the intangibles while understanding he's a work in progress.

“I'm trying to get my ballhandling better so I'll be able to take people off the bounce more,” he said. “I want to be more of a diverse threat and try to get myself to be able to do different things anywhere on the court.”

Hartman showed that threat during this weekend's adidas May Classic for his 16U Eric Gordon All-Stars team. He had 19 points in one game, 13 in another. That set up another 19-point effort, this time in Sunday's 71-51 title game victory over Louisville Magic.

It helps to have Davis on the team. The Warren Central standout has overcome back problems to become a consistent force, although he tweaked his back Sunday. That included a 20-point effort in a comeback victory over The Ville, a Louisville team. He had nine points in the championship game.

“We're both pretty athletic,” Hartman said. “We both go to the boards. I can shoot. He can shoot. I can drive. He can drive. If we get the two-man game going, you have to respect us both.”

Hartman is in his first year with this Eric Gordon squad that also includes Harding's V.J. Beachem, Purdue commitment Basil Smotherman, and IU and Purdue target Zak Irvin.

“I'm feeling more comfortable shooting the ball and being more aggressive with it,” Hartman said. “If the shot isn't falling, just hustle and work to get the ball. Play some defense. Rebound. Keep everybody motivated.”

Hartman passed on offers from Purdue and Notre Dame, and interest from Michigan State, to commit to the Hoosiers last fall. He said he's excited about the chance to play with Davis for the Hoosiers.

“He does everything,” Hartman said. “He's an all-around athlete and a great player.”

The adidas May Classic featured a number of IU commitments and prospects. That included Class of 2012 commitments Yogi Ferrell, Hanner Perea, Jeremy Hollowell, Ron Patterson and Peter Jurkin, who play for Team Elite Team Indiana. Patterson missed Saturday's action because of attending his high school prom. Jurkin is still recovering from a stress fracture in his shin. The 6-9 Perea showed his athleticism all weekend, including a 21-point effort in one game. Hollowell was back after missing the past three weeks with wrist and knee injuries.

They dominated Saturday, then lost in Sunday's first game to Baylor LNO 78-64. It was their fifth tournament without a championship this spring (lack of depth is a major problem), and the frustration caused Ferrell to tweet he's tired of losing.

Also participating in the May Classic was Bishop Luers' James Blackmon for Spiece Indy Heat. The IU commitment for the Class of 2014 had a 25-point effort in one game. However, he and teammate Trey Lyles missed Sunday morning's game, although Spiece Indy Heat did win.

Advancing players and teams had a busy weekend. Some played as many as seven games over the weekend, the consequence of a 229-team field that makes this annual event among the nation's best. Games were held at IU's Assembly Hall and Cook Hall, plus other sites as far away as Indianapolis.

Recent Purdue commitment Derek Willis looked strong for his BA Hoyas team. That included a 19-point, 10-rebound, three-block performance against an Eric Gordon All-Stars squad.

Then there's Demetrius Jackson, a sophomore guard out of Mishawaka Marion who wasn't making many travel basketball waves until recently. He played big last week at the Spiece event and even bigger in Bloomington. He had 17 points in one game and added 24 points in another. He just added IU to his list of possible schools. Coach Tom Crean wants him to make an unofficial visit. Other contenders include Purdue, Notre Dame, Butler, Michigan, Michigan State, Xavier and Louisiana State.

NCAA rules banned all Division I coaches from watching.