State of the Blog: Spring 2014

Dylan Burkhardt

Michigan didn’t make it back to the Final Four this season, but this team accomplished just about everything else.

The magical ride through Big Ten play – despite the loss of Mitch McGary, Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. – was validation of how far this program has come. Thinking back to when I started this site, in December of 2007, the metamorphosis of the program has been impressive. We like to think that this site has at least made a valiant effort to keep pace, but that’s not for us to judge.

The journey was incredible, but as is always the case around early April – it becomes apparent how much time and effort went into the last five months.

We published over 600 articles during the 2013-14 season and provided first-hand coverage including videos, photos, reporting and analysis from every game this season – home, away and neutral. As a free and independent site, we are proud of that accomplishment. Those November trips to Puerto Rico and Durham that feel like they happened ages ago were somehow part of the same season that finished in Indianapolis over the weekend.

Joe Stapleton, Dustin Johnston, and Scott Mapes all played a critical role in this season’s coverage and their hard work, dedication and sacrifice can’t go unmentioned. I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve contributed to the site.

Traffic-wise, this was our best season ever and we want to continue to thank all of you that read, discuss and share our content.

But as much as we would like it to be different, the site still requires your support. Despite the amount of time that I, and everyone else involved, spends working on the site – it’s not a full-time gig for any of us.

We’re always striving to improve the site on a day-to-day basis, but we also want to keep all of our content free – including our recruiting, analysis, reporting and multimedia features. Any money that we’ve raised in the past has gone back into the site, whether it was spent on website improvements, traveling to cover games or AAU tournaments and all of the other costs which add up. We’re always open to suggestions and ideas, but this off-season we are going to be more focused in our goals.

Any money that we raise this spring will be put primarily to two causes of immediate concern:

1) Hire a new beat writer for 2014-15

Joe is moving on after being an integral part of our coverage for the last several years. He will be sorely missed. We are currently looking for his replacement to continue our day-to-day coverage of the team. If you are interested, it isn’t too late to apply.

2) Update the site to a responsive, mobile-friendly design

Currently, mobile devices and tablets account for nearly half of our traffic. When we launched the site’s current design, that percentage was under 25%. We admit that the site is far from ideal on a tablet or smartphone, and we hope to make improvements to fix that problem before next season.




As always, thanks for reading and an even bigger thank you for your support.

  • Zem528

    Great work all year, guys. Certainly the best Michigan basketball blog around, if not the best college basketball blog altogether. Thanks for everything.

  • MLaw

    Tremendous work this season guys. You really add a lot of enjoyment to each and every basketball season. I look forward to the excitement this fall. Thank you for all your hard work, it does not go unnoticed.

  • Brian in NYC

    Thanks as always to the UM Hoops team — the best site out there if you follow Michigan basketball. You guys helped make this another great year to follow, I hope you guys had as much fun watching as we did. Thanks again and keep up the great work!

  • gobluemd16

    Happy to donate to the site once again, you guys are the best. Still my favorite Michigan-related site by far, and one of the best basketball-related sites on the web. Everyone else should donate as well, we appreciate all of your hard work. Do you guys have a donation goal, as you have in the past?

  • Drew Raymond

    Still is sinking in that it’s over…what a year. I am going to miss this team–they truly were a huge part of all of our daily lives over the past 4 months.

    As for this blog, a huge thanks to Dylan, Joe, Scott and Dustin. I’m not sure my fan-hood would have taken off without this site (born in Ann Arbor, but I’m now down in Austin at UTexas), which I first began checking when Zack and Stu were freshmen.

    A random/funny memory: I remember when Dylan (or someone) posted Trey Zeigler’s highlight video and the background song was “Over” by Drake. And someone (presumably one of the site’s more senior followers) requested the highlights be accompanied by jazz instead of rap music. Regardless, we are all very spoiled to receive this content for free.

    Thanks again

  • Thanks for all of the kind words and support guys.. It has been a pretty crazy few years. Hopefully it keeps heading in the right direction.

    • gobluemd16

      We are in great hands

  • eddieben

    Thanks again for top notch content. Love the idea of a better mobile presence. Best of luck Joe!

  • Mike

    My first time posting here, but i’ve been a reader for 3 years now. Wanted to say thank you and let you know this blog is great and my go to source for anything/everything UM hoops. You have my donation.

  • Champswest

    I miss basketball already.
    I tried to watch some of the Tiger opener yesterday, but it was just way too boring. The pace is too slow. I want to see LeVert grab a rebound, push it up court and either hit Robinson for a dunk or find Stauskas on the wing for a three. Can’t wait until next year.

  • Wayman Britt

    Just donated. I have been a follower/participant of this site since the beginning. Dylan you picked a good time to start this website right when Beilein joined. The UM basketball program and this site have been so much fun to follow since 2007. Especially after living through the TA era, where players never developed, in game adjustments where non existence and game preparation was poor.

  • geoffclarke

    Best Michigan Basketball site there is. Nice work.

  • Hugh Jass

    love what you do – thanks

  • derek anderson

    Been reading for 3 years now and love the content. Being in Boston and a huge Michigan fan having this site is great. Made a small donation and hope it helps. Keep up the excellent work it’s greatly appreciated

  • EchoWhiskey

    Love the site. If you need any advice/troubleshooting with a responsive version of the site, feel free to hit me up. I do a lot of that web development work for my day job.

  • ben

    Like the site. I’ve been reading for the past couple years and enjoy all hoops coverage. Hopefully my little donation helps.