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Marquette Wire

Smart’s new motto: Energy Generating Behaviors

Photo by Alex DeBuhr
Sophomore forward David Joplin averaged 2.8 points and 0.9 rebounds last year.

College basketball is back and the Marquette men’s basketball team has added a new motto to its program: Energy Generating Behavior.

“That means having fun, first and foremost,” sophomore guard Stevie Mitchell said. “It’s something that makes it more fun and helps us win and get going. We lose ourselves in the fight.”

Junior forward Oso Ighodaro said EGB is one of the team’s biggest strengths.

“It’s a big deal for us. One of our advantages as a team is our energy that we bring,” Ighodaro said. “We tried to practice this so in the games, we can be the team with higher energy.”

Mitchell cited sophomore guard Kam Jones as the player who generates the most energy in practice.

“Kam this year has really like made that emphasis,” Mitchell said. “Every day in practice he’s always having fun, having energy, celebrating his teammates and celebrating when he makes a good play.”

Sophomore forward David Joplin said having that energy is paramount for this season’s success.

“When we create energy, especially on the defensive end, is when we’re at our best,” Joplin said. “We can fly around on the defensive and offensive end of the floor. We feed off each other really well and energy for this team is huge.”

In addition to its importance on the court, junior forward Olivier-Maxence Prosper said it’s important for team chemistry as well.

“[Energy generating behaviors] is what gets us together and makes us forget whatever happened and gets us locked into the present moment, locked into each other so that we can come together, get a stop and get a basket,” Prosper said. 

Building relationships through court energy encourages even more energy and better relationships Mitchell said.

“I think it makes us closer, you know when we’re on the court,” Mitchell said. “Encouraging each other and cheering each other on and showing that we genuinely care about each other.”

Using energy to build relationships, Mitchell said, was a crucial part of his transition to Marquette.

“I’m going to college far from home, so I wanted to be at a spot where it felt like family,” Mitchell said. “That’s what this is.”

The team structure is important to maintaining energy because not every day can be perfect, Mitchell said.

“There’s days where I don’t really have great energy. That’s where my teammates and coaches come in,” Mitchell said. “They can call that out and get me to a place where I do have great energy and get some mind space where I can be invested.”

Senior forward and Loyola-New Orleans transfer Zach Wrightsil said that he had to get used to the defensive energy of the team. 

“My last school, I was the main guy. I didn’t really express all of my energy on defense when I was there,” Wrightsil said. “Now I’ve been challenged to a point where I’ve had to bring out my best on defense. And it’s been incredible for me, I love it. It’s been something like a new skill that’s been unlocked.”

Treading new water at Marquette, Wrightsil said his new role will be focused on energy giving. 

“The main thing I want to bring to this team is someone who gives a lot of energy every single night,” Wrightsil said. “On the defensive end and offensive end because I can do both, and to be a big spark for my teammates and give a lot of energy.”

Prosper said that Wrightsil has already begun to fill this role in practice.

“He’s a great guy that comes in and works hard, he’s a guy that’s going to go out there and give everything he has on both ends,” Prosper said. “We need that toughness, that fire to win, a fire to get started on defense and on offense being confident and aggressive.” 

With the season set to open Nov. 7, Mitchell said he hopes the team uses energy-generating behaviors and strong relationships to find success.

“When you’re outside yourself, you’re encouraging your teammates, cheering your teammates on or slapping the floor. Then you’re not worried about yourself and you can be lost in the fight,” Mitchell said. “When you’re lost in the fight is when you’re at your best.”

This article was written by John Gunville. He can be reached via email at J[email protected] or on Twitter @GunvilleJohn.

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About the Contributor
John Gunville
John Gunville, Sports Reporter
John is a Sports Reporter at the Wire. He is a senior from Hartland, WI studying international affairs and Spanish and minoring in economics. In his free time, John enjoys playing on the Birdhouse ultimate frisbee team and has been to over 200 Marquette men's basketball games. This year John is looking forward to growing as a writer and share his passion for Marquette sports.

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