State of the Blog: March 19th, 2012

Friday’s bitter defeat marked the end of Michigan’s season which means it’s time for our semi-annual State of the Blog update and fundraiser. Full update after the jump but you can make a donation here or use the button to the right. 

Our fifth season covering Michigan basketball was our most successful yet. Despite the disappointing finish, this was Michigan’s best season in over a decade and saw the Wolverines win a share of their first Big Ten Championship since 1986. The season was great but the future might be even brighter with Mitch McGary, Glenn Robinson III and Nik Stauskas set to step on campus this summer

The site has continued to grow in unison with Michigan’s improvement on the court. Traffic numbers are up and we posted nearly 50% more content this season than the year before. We not only covered every Michigan home game in person, we also took to the road with first hand coverage at Arkansas, Michigan State, Northwestern, Purdue, Illinois and Penn State as well as tournament games in Indianapolis and Nashville.

Kevin Raftery served as our beat writer and diligently covered games and press conferences while writing Five Key Plays and various other features of the site. Somehow he also went to class during his free time. Dustin Johnston joined in to help us photograph games. David Merritt, Joe Eberhardt and Josh Houchin were all instrumental yet again with their knowledge, scouting and video work respectively.

Now it’s on to the offseason. We’ll look back on the season that was and ahead to the season that will be. We’ll also dive head first into recruiting as high school all star events and AAU season swing into full gear. We’ll be tracking Michigan’s 2012 and 2013 commitments while shifting the focus ahead to the class of 2014 and beyond.

Michigan was 4-8 in December of 2007 when I purchased the domain umhoops.com and would limp its way to a 10-22 record that season. The growth of both the program and the website has been a joy to watch over the last five years. At this point, we’re confident that our coverage of Michigan basketball is the best that you can find on the internet – at any price. We continue to offer our content for free and have no plans to change that as we love the community that has spawned here.

The growth of the site has been extraordinary but also comes at a cost. Running the site is certainly a labor of love, but costs and time begin to add up. The countless hours spent writing, editing and traveling are significant – especially for a “part time” venture. The bills for travel and everything else involved with the site add up just as quickly.

In short, it’s impossible to run this site without your financial support. So over the coming days, we’re formally reaching out to ask for your support. We’ve generally done this twice per year and the assistance that we’ve received has always been eye opening and appreciated. If you’re able to offer anything (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:

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NIZFR3IUV4MCRJ3EKNWISPCTVI Nick M

    A Sparty fan here, let me say this, Michigan fans you are very lucky to have a site like this. Dylan puts in work and the product is damn good. If I can pony up, so can you.

    • David

      If that isn’t enough to guilt trip us Michigan fans to give a little financial support to Dylan and others’ excellent work, then I don’t know what is.  Worked for me anyway

  • Nancy Douglass

    Dylan.  This is Stu’s mom Nancy  My husband and I just want to thank you and your staff for all your hard work and superb analysis. You have been a large part of making our Michigan experience so wonderful. Coming home from games, umhoops was always the “go-to” site for us.  You have actually taught me so very much!!  Looks like exciting things to come for this team.  We will continue watching and reading.  Thanks again and we wish you continued success.

    • Brick93

      I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for giving us Stu Douglass.

      • Nancy Douglass

         Well thank you Brick93 for your support!

        • FieldingBLUE

          I echo Brick93, it has been an absolute joy watching Stu be part of this Michigan team the past four years. We were lucky to have such a great young man, now Michigan Man, be part of the school and teams we love so dearly.

          • Nancy Douglass

             Thank you so very much.  Very hard to see this all end but we will always be a part of this “family” and are very excited for the future of this program!!

          • Kool Breeze

            Nancy, count me in as well.  Stu is a class kid, we will miss him next year.

          • Nancy Douglass

             Thanks Kool Breeze.  All these kind words h help ease the all the emotions that are stirring as we face the fact that Stu will never wear a Michigan uniform again

          • Nancy Douglass

             Oops.  Should have proof read my last post Kool Breeze!

          • q-sac

             huge fan of stu. my favorite player since the fab five. got to watch the team live for the first time at penn state. getting to give the guys hi fives as they ran back to the locker room was the highlight of my weekend. it didn’t matter that i was a 6’5″ 28 year old at the end a line of 4″ 6 six year olds… please thank him for me and all the um fans.

          • Nancy Douglass

             I will thank him q-sac. Thank you for the kind words. We were at the Penn State game too!!

          • Iluvthebullets

            Hi Nancy,

            Just another fan letting you know inspirational your son has been to watch on the basketball court! 

            I spent so many years rotting for players at Michigan who did not seem to truly care and Stu and Zack have been vitally important to giving Michigan Basketball a winning culture that will continue on for years! 

            If he continues  playing in Europe I will definitely be following his career.

             

          • Nancy Douglass

            Thank you so much

          • Scott1222

            It’s hard for us fans as well knowing Stu will never wear the maize and blue…however it will always be w him in all lifes endeavors…Stu-thx for having such class and helping to turn this program around the rite way…with respect and integrity and for the love of pure basketball!! GOD BLESS & GO BLUE!!

          • Nancy Douglass

             So kind.  I will pass all this on to Stu. 

          • Ajerome33

            Nancy, I will piggyback on the others’ comments…..watching Michigan basketball has been a family event for us for every game.  I am grateful that my 10 year old and 7 year old were able to watch and root for great kids like your son and Zack the past 4 years. Their dedication, effort, desire, leadership, and class will be sorely missed. 

          • Nancy Douglass

            That is why I love sports.  It is truly a family affair!  Glad that Stu and Zack brought your family such joy.  I know great  things are still to come for this team so you will have years of family togetherness watching great Michigan basketball

    • Joel_C

       Stu and Zack are the best.

    • ScottGoBlue

      Thanks to you, your family, and Stu for the investment of your lives. It’s been fun to follow Stu and company these four years, even from across the Atlantic. I watched a livestream online of the big Duke game Stu’s freshman year from my buddy’s apartment in Berlin. That’s when i knew we had something special in the making. Four years later, my 2.5 year old son dribbles his basketball around saying, “Number One, Stu Douglass has the ball.” Thanks for the hope, the inspiration, the fun! All future success is built on the four-year foundation of Stu Douglass and Zach Novak.

      • Nancy Douglass

        Well that made me cry Scott.  You have no idea what it means to me and my husband to hear all these wonderful words of support and appreciation.  Best to you and your family across the Atlantic!

    • Prigby

      Mrs.Douglass. We have enjoyed watching and cheering for Stu the last four years. I had a chance to talk to Stu the last few years at the UM father/son basketball camp and he was always willing to spend extra time with my son. Great young man!

      • Nancy Douglass

         Thanks for sharing that with me Prigby.  Stu loves kids!

    • Angelo L.

      Even from afar (western Canada) and having never met either Stu or Zack, it’s obvious the impact they have had on this program and how they were well-raised and special young men. 

      They may not have been the most athletic or skilled players, but that didn’t matter because everything they lacked, they more than compensated with their hard work, leadership, dedication and tenacity. They have both set a great example on how future Michigan players conduct themselves on the court, in the gym and in the classroom. 

      Both Stu and Zack will be sorely missed, and even though any successes that Michigan basketball achieves in the future will be without Stu and Zack physically on the floor, they will have their fingerprints all over the successes with the foundation they have laid for this program.

      Their contributions will never be forgotten by this Michigan fan.

    • http://www.ideafusionmedia.com MaizeNBlueJ

      Hi Nancy. I know it’s been said numerous times below already, but it’s definitely been a pleasure watching Stu these past 4 years. As an Indiana native, it gives me great pride knowing that the two players brought the program back are from my home state. 

      Please pass along my sincere thanks to Stu for his hard work and sacrifice these past four years. It definitely didn’t go unnoticed.

      Josh

      • Nancy Douglass

         Thank you Josh.  I will pass this on to Stu!!

  • Adam

    I am happy to donate. I appreciate the work that you put in on this blog.

  • John

    This is definitely a worthy site to donate to.

  • Fred Z in Ann Arbor

    Donated.

  • eddieben

    Thanks for a great read, day after day, post after post. 

    Donated.

  • davis104

    Donated. Looking back, I can’t believe how far Michigan basketball has come. While the loss still stings, especially with Marshall’s injury, its easy to forget how recently, Michigan basketball was irrelevant. This site has also made following Michigan basketball so much more enjoyable. I never really knew about tempo-free stats until I got the Umhoops/kenpom crash course. Can’t wait to see what the future brings for the team and the site. 

  • Scott1222

    Donated…keep up the great work guys!!

  • JMac13

    Keep up the great work and thanks for all that you do! Money well spent.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XDJ3H5XSGDZHSKEOWLQAYWEQ3E carlsanders

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

  • Alex

    Dylan,

    This is a fabulous site.

    Thank you very much for the hard work.

    Great analysis and helping to build the story as the season goes along.

    Kudos.

  • Charles

    Great job this year. Thanks for all your hard work!

  • Kool Breeze

    Dylan, great site, happy to donate.

    • TMURDA

      Matt Kuhlman?

      • Kool Breeze

         Nope, sorry.

  • sane1

    Dylan, you are the go to guy for Michigan basketball junkies. My donation to your site is well earned.

  • maxwell’s demon

    Between my first real sports memories being of the Fab 5 and just my love of the sport, I have always loved Michigan hoops in a way that even Michigan football can’t quite capture for me. In the earlier days, this site was a great place to come just because Dylan (and also the visitors) were clearly more than just football fans with an interest in hoops when the team was good. But in a way that almost parallels our team, this site has blossomed into something more than just a haven for Michigan basketball fans and into one that truly provides top notch analysis and content. Cheers!

  • DFORD

    This is the best blog for Michigan basketball period and I do not know what I would do without it! I am a Michigan basketball junkie and have been since the Fab Five era (R.I.P. Robert Tractor Traylor) and because of players like Stu and Zack who gave their blood, sweat and tears to this program and proved the mantra “Those that stay, will be champions” official, Michigan now is on solid footing again as I look forward to watching and enjoying the future success of the this team. Thank you Dylan to you and your fine staff for putting the necessary   work in to keep us informed, from the Recap videos and especially the recruiting info. I was more than happy to donate and wish I could have given more because for me, it is money well spent and for you money earned.

  • http://twitter.com/king_kerridge William Kerridge

    This and mgoblog are by far the best Michigan blogs out there, no doubt in my mind. I check umhoops every day and love the content and analysis provided by Dylan and Kevin. The ringing endorsement from Mrs. Douglass just reinforces the quality work here, the future is bright and I plan on donating as soon as I get home from work today.

    Finances are always personal issues, but I was curious if it might help fundraising to publicize the kind of time and money you spend to keep the blog running so efficiently. You subscribe to KenPom, travel to games, buy tickets, spend your valuable time, etc…I could be completely wrong, but itemizing your expenses and letting us know what they are might drive increased donations, I know I would be apt to donate more if I saw you were incurring a significant cost to run the blog.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KELQZF2NXOVTZ4DXY2YL4H4INQ Chris in NC

    It’s an honor to donate.  I was here when you opened to door to this the Hall of Fame of UM basketball.  You truly are the best at what you do.  Keep up the great work and take a nice vacation.  Y’all have earned it.

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