WOOLARD: What defines an EGB?


Photo by Isabel Bonebrake

Head coach Shaka Smart celebrates from the bench in his team’s 96-70 upset win over No. 6 Baylor Nov. 29 at Fiserv Forum.

When I saw Dwyane Wade fail to chug a beer at the Marquette basketball game last Wednesday I immediately thought: How many EGBs is this worth?

EGBs or “Energy Generating Behaviors” have become a mantra for Shaka Smart and his team in his 2nd season as head coach. Now, what exactly is an EGB? I’m still trying to figure that out myself.

What I’ve been able to gather is that EGBs are anything that helps the team generate energy or “lose themselves in the fight.” It seems like these can be things such as high-fives, chest bumps, claps, floor slaps, basically any kind of encouraging physical contact would count as an EGB.

Smart has said in the past that junior guard Tyler Kolek’s passing is an EGB though, so it seems as though EGBs can also be basketball related.

However, Smart has also said that what can count as an EGB is pretty “open-ended” which is why it’s hard for me to understand how such a subjective ideal can even be counted as a stat.

Yet, it is. Before every game at Fiserv Forum, the jumbotron shows an updated count of EGBs since the beginning of practice.

While my skepticism would suggest that I’m anti-EGBs, that is most definitely not the case. The Golden Eagles have become one of the most efficient offenses in the nation, ranking first in KenPom. They’ve also consistently been in the Associated Press Top 25 conversation throughout the season and are currently 2nd in Big East standings. The Golden Eagles have risen to as high as No. 16, where they are currently ranked.

If the Golden Eagles believe those types of results have been due to a new focus on EGBs then I’m all for it. I actually love EGBs so much that I think EGBs should go beyond the court and extend into the fan experience.

To make things clearer for all Marquette basketball fans I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a list of things that I think should be counted as an EGB.

To start, no official basketball stat can count as an EGB (they already have stats for that). Then we get into what I call the “typical EGBs” these are things like high fives, chest bumps, claps, etc. Those will all be worth one EGB.

Now, I think that certain behaviors that generate more energy should be worth more EGBs. It should be sort of a sliding scale.

Any “typical EGB” that Iggy the Eagle does is automatically worth double the EGBs, the same goes for Coach Smart.

Any successful beer chug on the jumbotron is worth 20 EGBs; 30 if it’s a Marquette basketball alum. Additionally, any student (of age) that’s willing to shell out like 15 bucks for a beer at Fiserv, should have an opportunity to contribute to the stat line. So every beer will count for 10 EGBs.

All balloon hats made in the student section are worth five EGBs a piece and any book Maya Smart signs at halftime is also worth five EGBs.

Every single rendition of “Ring Out Ahoya” is worth 30 EGBs just because I happen to have a soft spot for the pep band.

I also think there are a few “big ticket” EGBs such as developing a summer reading program to encourage childhood literacy that can be worth up to 10,000 EGBs.

Conversely, I think anything that takes away from the energy should also be reflected in the stat line.

Wasting water during a drought is -50,000 EGBS.

I think anytime the student section is offbeat on the “Thunderstruck” clap, it’s automatically negative EGBs. At a PWI, this might be where our stats take a hit.

For every second that awful CGI eagle that’s in the pre-tip-off video appears on the jumbotron it’s negative 5 EGBs.

Additionally, any EGB that occurs within the last five minutes of the game is automatically worth double. Over time EGBs are worth triple and so on.

I’m not sure if this provided any clearer context as to what an EGB is or how it should be calculated. But, if the Golden Eagles continue this type of performance into March then I’ve got to hand it to the EGBs.

This article was written by Megan Woolard. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @MeganWoolard4.