State of the Blog: Season Five

Dylan Burkhardt

Michigan plays its first game of the year this Friday which means it’s time for our semi-annual “State of the Blog” update, which is available after the jump.

This will be our fifth season covering Michigan basketball and our second as an officially credentialed outlet. The past five seasons have seen their share of highs (NCAA Tournament wins over Clemson and Tennessee or last season at the Breslin Center) and lows (the 2009-10 season to start) but we can confidently say that the future of the program hasn’t been this bright for well over a decade.

The offseason has been exciting, newsworthy and entertaining. John Beilein has elevated his recruiting significantly, landing commitments from Max Bielfeldt, Nick Stauskas, Mark Donnal, Austin Hatch, Zak Irvin, Derrick Walton and of course Mitch McGary. Suddenly there’s a promising team on the floor and what could be an even more promising group on the horizon.

We’ve been along for every step of the journey, providing first hand recruiting coverage and video from a number of major AAU tournaments, events and camps this summer – for free.  Our original coverage took us across the midwest and we’re confident that it matched (and more than likely exceeded) that of our paid competition.

Kevin Raftery joined the team this fall and will serve in a similar role to Joe Stapleton’s last season. David Merritt is back for another season and will be focusing on multimedia features while sharing the perspective of a former player. Joe Eberhardt continues to serve as our resident recruiting expert in the state of Indiana – an ever important role given Michigan’s new recruiting focus on the Hoosier State. Josh Houchin will be back as well, serving as our video guru and helping with features like Five Key Plays.

We also continue to make improvements to the website. We’ve added Disqus Commenting, an improved system which should come in handy during game open threads this season. We’ve added new post types like Quick Videos, Posts, and Links to help aggregate and share more content in a timely manner. Player and recruit profiles are being revamped, a process which should be completed shortly after the first game.

When I created this site in December of 2007 I was frustrated that there was no dedicated resource to Michigan basketball. Four years later it’s impressive just how far the site has come, achieving more milestones and accomplishments than I would have imagined possible back then. The fact that we’ve made it this far just makes getting to the next step that much more important.

At this point the site has become more about you and all of our readers than anything that I, or any of our other writers, do. The comments section has seen nearly 50,000 posts and your support and participation continues to motivate us to continue to push forward.

Over the next few days and weeks, we’re reaching out to ask for your support. We’ve generally done this twice per year and the support that we’ve received has always been eye opening and appreciated. If you’re able to offer any support (no amount is too small), you can be confident that your contribution will go directly toward improving the site – every dollar helps us add new features, pay for road trips to cover games or recruits, and open more doors down the road.

If you’re able to donate, please click the Make a Donation button below or in the sidebar to the right:

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  • Jon

    My pleasure to donate to this great website.  For an out of town Michigan fan, you guys are my life line back to Michigan basketball.

    • a2sk

      I’ll second that for a fan living in Ann Arbor.  This site helps keep me sane during hoops season and I am very happy to support it.  Keep up the exceptional work!

  • mikey_mac

    I was thrilled when I found this blog a couple years back, and it’s just kept getting better. Congratulations on season five!

  • The Kelly Family

    Thanks for the great site. Wish I could donate more. Go Blue!

  • Nichgira

    This site is a treasure to those of us who love Michigan basketball. Keep up the good work and best wishes on another great season.

  • Giddings

    Amazing that it’s been 5 years. Seems like just yesterday we were talking about the departure of K’Len Morris et al on here. Big thanks to Dylan and the staff as well as the intelligent commenters.