By: DAN JENKINS, MEN’S BASKETBALL BEAT REPORTER
Despite a rough season for the University of Michigan-Dearborn men’s basketball team and Coach John Mackson, the program as a whole showed signs of improvement during the 2012-2013 season. After winning only three games during his first campaign as Wolves’ head coach, Mackson’s team improved four games to finish with a record of 7-23.
Mackson believes that with the oncoming name change it can only go up and stay positive. “Any affiliation between our team and the team in Ann Arbor can only be a positive for us. It’s a positive as far as recruiting goes. For a lot of recruits, that’s a lot of the appeal of our university, is that there is such a close affiliation with Ann Arbor,” said Mackson.
Along with the name change, Mackson believes the addition of dorms across the street will greatly influence recruiting for the team. “Last year, we extended quite a few offers that were rejected. This year, the rejections have been a lot fewer and I think it’s because we’ve got those things available to them like we didn’t have before,” said Mackson.
“Last year, if we had dorms, there were two or three kids that would have signed with us, but it came right down to it: they wanted that college experience and to be able to move out of their parent’s house.”
In addition to better recruiting, Mackson hopes that with the name change and the acquisition of used equipment from the Ann Arbor program, that UM-D can get more equipment and uniforms.
Finally, Mackson hopes that the name change will give not only an immediate impact to the athletic department, but also a long-term impact. “If there’s a great impact down the road, then that mean’s that we’ve taken it and really turned it into something.”