Editor’s note: We’re excited to announce that we’ve hired two new writers, Ethan Sears and Max Marcovitch, for the upcoming season. Ethan and Max will be handling the beat coverage of the team and we’re thrilled to welcome them to UM Hoops. Both are extremely talented and have big ideas for the coming season.
Make sure to follow Max on Twitter and look for his coverage in the weeks and months to come.
There I was, the clock nudging past 3 a.m. in Wichita, trying to find the exact spot where, mere hours prior, Michigan basketball history changed.
I found it — or something close — and slowly pivoted around to soak in the magic of an empty arena. I imagined what Jordan Poole thought when the ball found his hands down two points against Houston; when he launched a prayer from 35 feet and his legs splayed each direction; when it fell and he paraded around the court like a toddler in a toy store.
Growing up, I woke up at 7:30 am each morning, poured myself a bowl of cereal and watched SportsCenter until my parents pried the remote from my hands. I first taught myself to read by matching the newspaper box scores with my existent memorization of each team’s lineup. Anyone who truly knows me understands the role sports have played in shaping who I am.
Get UM Hoops for 2019-20. For a limited time only, sign up with the promo code NEWYEAR to get an annual membership for just $3 per month.
In my three-plus years with The Michigan Daily, I’ve done things that little boy would’ve never believed possible.
My freshman year, I covered the softball team, where I learned how to handle writing on a beat and, more importantly, to appreciate the simplicity of sports. If you’ve never been to a Michigan softball game, you’re missing out on something profoundly special.
But that sophomore year — when I lucked into the men’s basketball beat, covering a team of misfits presumed to be nothing more than a fringe NCAA Tournament team — changed everything. That was when I knew this was something I wanted to really do. It wasn’t just that the team exceeded even the most optimistic expectations, allowing me and my beat-mates to go to a Big Ten Tournament, the NCAA Tournament and the Final Four. It wasn’t just that I was there in Wichita or courtside for the National Championship.
There was something about covering this Michigan basketball program that stuck with me. It’s a program with a history of success and failure, scandal and cleanliness, titles and droughts. The intrigue abounds. The stories are endless. I’ve spent the last two years covering the football program, and yet something about that year covering basketball has stuck with me in a way football never has.
And if you’re here reading UM Hoops it doesn’t take me to tell you what this year is going to mean for the short- and long-term future of Michigan basketball.
When Dylan approached me with this opportunity, I was instantly sold. His vision for how he wants to cover this program aligned perfectly with mine and Ethan’s. We want to bring you the deepest stories and the sharpest insight. You’ll be getting the same recruiting insight and in-depth Michigan basketball news you’ve come to expect from UM Hoops, with a renewed emphasis on quality story-telling and unique angles. We want to be your go-to source for all things Michigan basketball, plain and simple.
My credentials include four years at The Daily, where I’m now one of the co-managing sports editors. I spent a summer as an intern at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in my hometown (yes, I’m a lifelong self-loathing Falcons fan). Last summer, I was in New York City working for GOLF Magazine (yes, I’m also a self-loathing golfer). I’ve done freelance work with the Detroit Free Press, AJC, Toledo Blade and The Oregonian, among others.
And I’m not sure anything has quite excited me as much as this chance Dylan has afforded me with UM Hoops — to cover a fascinating program at an inflection point, with the kind of freedom for which anyone in my position yearns. It is my responsibility to use that freedom to put out quality work that I hope you will enjoy, from now through March.
Basketball season is upon us. I’m raring to go. I hope you are, too.