Most first-year assistants don’t have the courage to step up and suggest major changes during their first few months on the job. But Graham Bousley, fresh off his hiring at Mount St. Mary’s, knew he needed to make his case on an important topic.
The Mountaineers needed Sportscode.
Bousley had seen Sportscode’s major benefits during his two years as the director of basketball operations at Rice and was surprised to see his new team had yet to incorporate it. He and the other assistants convinced coach Jamion Christian of the program’s capabilities.
Mount St. Mary’s jumped from 14 to 20 wins, won the Northeast Conference Tournament and made the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2014, beating New Orleans before falling to Villanova.
“As a program when we were starting out this year, we really realized its value,” Bousley said of Sportscode. “It was important for us to use this season to work more efficiently and maximize our chances for success. It definitely was an important piece for us this year. It’s cutting-edge technology and we want to give the players the best possible chance and maximize our resources.”
Mount St. Mary’s doesn’t have a video coordinator, so assistants Bousley, Will Holland and Julian Boatner are assigned offensive, defensive and special teams coordinator roles. As the special teams coordinator, Bousley is responsible for breaking down any video involving plays following timeouts, late-game situations and the Mountaineers’ performance against the press.
The team doesn’t have many massive team video sessions. Instead, they focus more on one-on-one meetings where the players connect with one of the assistants to break down their video.
“They basically just soak up whatever we can give them,” Bousley said. “Sportscode allows us to work more efficiently and give them more information. We do a lot of short edits and I’ll just convert them into a small movie and I’ll text it to them. It’s so easy.”
Bousley is also responsible for creating an offensive execution playbook after the season’s conclusion for the incoming freshmen to study.
While Sportscode certainly doesn’t deserve all the credit for the Mountaineers’ jump last season, it certainly played a key role in helping them get back to the Big Dance. The nation’s youngest coaching staff embraced the change, the players eagerly jumped on board and Mount St. Mary’s reaped the benefits.
“I really sold that it was going to be really important to our program and the other assistants had used it as well. We were kind of like, ‘Coach, we have to do this,’” Bousley said. “I think it just streamlines the process. I just like how easy it is to use and it makes me work more efficiently.”