the mystery of Justine Hartman...
I've never seen a player start out her freshman season "on fire" shooting the ball in non-conference games and then be unable to score for the majority of conference play.
I watched her play in the McDonald's AA game and am fully aware that she was rated the 2nd best post player in the nation and the 7th best player overall out of Brea-Olinda High in Southern California.
I believe that she had some type of injury at the beginning of the season but it seemed to not affect her stellar play. During the initial seven games of the season she was part of Gottlieb's 10 player rotation. She scored 17 points in game #3 to lead the Bears and 16 points in the next game. She converted 8-11 and 8-12 field goal attempts in those games. I posted here that she was the BEST natural shooter that I had seen play for the Cal women's team.
Post players generally shoot a higher percentage because of their proximity to the basket. Caldwell & Gray have the highest FG percentages on the team.
Well-Justine's stats are very misleading. As I stated she has had two different seasons combined into one so far... Hartman was the all-american for seven contests but then things turned around 360 degrees. The next three games she was held down to 1-2 baskets per game. Then, nationally ranked power house, Ohio State, came to Haas and shutdown Justine completely, 0-3. The last pre-season game was Ivy League opponent, Dartmouth, and they held her to 1-4 from the field.
In 13 conference games to date, Hartman has converted 7 baskets out of 39 shot attempts for an embarassing FG% of 18%. I have watched every televised women's game on tv or the internet and have noticed that opposing posts crowd her and do not allow her to get an open look at the basket. Several of the posts are taller than Justine (6'2") standing 6'3" to 6'5" & have blocked several of her shots.
Generally, when the defense finds out that you're a deadeye shooter, they will attempt to deny the ball and have the defender play "inside" your jersey so to speak. The counter is to backdoor your defendr, pump fake or simply put the ball of the floor and drive around the defender. Evidently, JH lacks the footspeed to respond this way. She also is the one post that doesn't rebound with an average of 1.9 boards/ game. Gray, Caldwell & Brandon average 5.9, 6.5 & 10.8 rpg, respectively. Every player that averages 10 minutes per game or above rebounds more than her including all of the guards. Finally, my theory of the dead-eye shooter seems to be debunked because she is miserable on unguarded free throws (45.5%)?
Bottomline: after having the WA POY transfer out , I'm a bit concerned by the cutting of Hartman's minutes by Gottlieb. No longer is there a ten player rotation-it's been simplified to primarily seven Bears. This experience has to be humiliating for such a highly acclaimed star. Cal just played her original school, UCLA, and she barely saw the floor (3 minutes-0 points & 0 rebounds). Does anyone have a clue to the mystery of Justine Hartman? Am I unaware of some physical impairment that could be causing this change in performance level? I would appreciate any helpful explanations. I hope Justine remains a Bear and find her "magic" again.
Last edited by Schroeder71; 02-15-2012 at 09:04 PM.
I've posted before that she is running very well, but cannot seem to elevate off of the floor. Don't know if this is from her injury. She plays very tough even with this limitation, so hope that her hops will improve by next year with some further rehab and plyometrics.
It's possible Justine's injury has diminished her jumping and her ability to change direction more than her speed. That could affect her rebounding and defense (which require reaction) more than her offense (which has a component of premeditation).
Originally Posted by annarborbear
It's also possible her injury would benefit from some form of rehab more focused than practicing and playing.
Maybe if you actually came to a game and watched one live, you might notice a few things. One, as annarborbear suggests, Justine really doesn't seem to be getting much elevation on shots. Or rebounds. It seems as if she is struggling to jump. Also, whenever she gets the ball on offense anywhere in her range (which includes mid-range shots) she is immediately double-teamed. She has simply not been open for a lot of shots, as you point out! There are a variety of factors affecting that: movement without the ball, our problems shooting from outside (which don't present so many problems for Gen and Rashanda, they can drive and leap so even if middle is clogged they will find a way), she is often used as a screener up high but not on the pick and roll (like Talia and Rashanda), etc. Plus, she is not the most aggressive player out there, which can sometimes limit one's touches or the shots a player feels they are open for. This factor, I think, will change as we see her grow and mature. Look at what an un-spectacular freshmen year Afure had, and look at her play now; I think Justine needs some time to adjust to the game, as well as adjust to playing with the brace. I've torn my ACL 3 times, so I know how hard it can be to get used to the brace and to not be hesitant on cuts, as well as learning how to jump differently.
I too have been wondering about Justine's season and really want to see her get her mojo back. She has tremendous upside, even now: she rarely makes a dumb play, doesn't force her shot, and is VERY patient and careful. She doesn't panic when it comes to her and she isn't open; she finds the right open player. She clearly works hard out there and has great instincts. In some ways, I think it's a question of confidence, maturing a little (as all freshmen need!), and continuing work on her knee.
Excellent informative post for those of us who cannot be there and see first hand. You answered many of my questions about a very good player. Thanks.
Originally Posted by BleacherBear
This thread leads me to ask what S&C resources are available to the WBB program to help players' rehab and recovery from injury/surgery, and training to regain physical capabilities?
During the first 7 games, she would receive an entry pass and immediately turn and shoot. It was kind of a set shot but she was tremendously accurate.
Now-she has lost her confidence and opponents realize our observations about her strengths 'n weaknesses. She needs to develop some moves & drives to the basket. i did not see enough of her pre-ACL injury to know about her "hops" abilities. However, I appreciate your comments. GO BEARS!
Originally Posted by BleacherBear
Ask Avigiel..better than what she got from Israel ..and especially now with the new high performance facility she has all the equipment needed for her rehab.
Originally Posted by puget sound cal fan
Doesn't sound too bad...
Originally Posted by Schroeder71
Sounds pretty good to me, you were expecting her to pull a 720?
True Blue Golden Bear
look out next year '71
As mentioned, Hartman is not physically 100%, but the coaching staff wants her to get experience. Why? next year is the year. Claredon is the best senior guard in the Pac 12, Boyd understands the game better, and improves her shooting, the bigs up front have experience and a year understanding Gottlieb's offense and defense, Hartman is back to full stregnth and can play the 3 or 4, so other bigs can go all out, and Sherbert can play inside/out as the 2 spelling Claredon (or allowing Claredon to spell Boyd). Interestingly, Cohen will be back to full speed, which could have more significance than folks here appreciate (look at her tapes against better than college competition). Cal will have several seniors who will be looking to step-up for their final year. Also, let's hope the free throw shooting improves over the summer. I just hope this year's team holds it together so they get some valuable NCAA experience.
Originally Posted by Schroeder71
I can't wait to see Cohen in the mix of the guard rotation...
I remember her video on the Israeli national team. I think that she can shoot the trey plus she is a pass-first PG. It also appears that Avigiel is one of the team leaders and is popular amongst her teammates. I seen quotes by teammate Reshanda Gray stating that she receives whispers of encouragement from Cohen when she has her head down. I also recall that Avigiel was the first to give a big hug to Clarendon when she hit the miraculous three-pointer to send the USC game into overtime.
Do you know exactly the nature of Hartman's lingering injury this season? She should like 60% before the conference drop off to 18%. This pronounced decline is difficult to explain except for a lack of mobility? She also needs to display heart in her rebounding...Right now, she is struggling to hold onto to passes and/or rebounds. GO BEARS!
Last edited by Schroeder71; 02-18-2012 at 01:14 PM.