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Marquette Wire

Shaka Smart has brought many new phrases to Marquette — here is a breakdown of the big ones

Photo by Katie Craig
Students clap to the beat of “Thunderstruck” before Marquette’s game against Northern Illinois.

Since the beginning of the Shaka Smart era, Marquette men’s basketball fans have had to learn many new terms that appear almost everywhere, whether that be on social media, on the Fiserv Forum jumbotron or even said by Smart himself.

That being said, here are some key words and phrases that are in the glossary:

Deflection (noun):

  • Definition: Anything that a player does defensively to change the course of the basketball.
  • Fun Facts: Every game, the team’s goal is to reach 32 deflections. During each timeout, a manager holds up a whiteboard with the number of deflections the team has accumulated so far. After each game, one player is chosen as the “Deflection Champion.”

Domino (noun):

  • Definition: Similar to the domino effect, it is defined as an individual who perform actions that builds up teammates and has a positive impact on the team as a whole.
  • Quote: “The domino is ‘How do I make the guys around me better?” Smart said after Marquette beat Xavier 69-68 Feb. 15, 2023. “The reality is we want to be a team who’s whole is greater than the sum of our parts.”
  • Fun Facts: After each home game, players hand out autographed dominoes to fans. Following each victory, one player is also named the “Domino of the Game.”

EGB (noun):

  • Definition: Introduced last season, it stands for “energy generating behavior.” EGBs can be done by anyone: players, coaches and even fans.
  • Examples: High fives, chest bumps, floor slaps and anything that gives energy to the team.
  • Fun Fact: The total amount of EGBs that each player performs is counted starting at the first practice of the season. After each victory, one player is awarded as the “EGB Champion.”

Kill (noun):

  • Definition: Three consecutive defensive stops.
  • Fun Fact: Each game, Marquette strives to get a total of eight kills, which equals 24 defensive stops. At Marquette games, the words “kill zone” flash on the jumbotron when the team is one stop away from getting a kill.

Lost In The Fight:

Multiple Efforts:

  • Definition: One of Smart’s many mantras, and the phrase means to always persevere and put in 110% of your energy in everything you do.
  • Quote: “He’s a heck of a mover, that’s the best thing about him. His body moves around the floor well and that is important in a style of play like ours because we value multiple efforts,” Smart said about first-year guard Zaide Lowery following this year’s Blue and Gold Scrimmage.
  • Fun Fact: In the practices leading up to its first game, one of Marquette’s themes of the week was “Multiple Efforts.”

Relationships, Growth, Victory:

  • Definition: This term outlines Smart’s three core values that he has instilled into the Marquette men’s basketball program since he arrived in 2021.
  • Fun Fact: Smart created a 26-page culture doc that outlines these beliefs in detail, and he gives this document to players, staff and recruits.
    • “[It] lays out who we want to be, who we strive every day to become and knowing that we’re never going to be perfect,” Smart said. “Our culture doc includes our mission to create and sustain championship-level success, and that’s not just on the court in games, that’s in everything we do.”

Skunk & dead skunk (nouns):

  • Definition: A term introduced this year, a “skunk” is six defensive stops or two kills in a row. Related to skunk, a “dead skunk” is nine defensive stops or three consecutive kills.

Win Anyway:

  • Definition: Finding a way to come out with the victory, regardless of what happens in the game or who you’re facing on any given day.
  • Fun Fact: This saying is also posted on the walls in the Kasten Gym.

This article was written by Kaylynn Wright. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @KaylynnWrightMU.

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About the Contributors
Kaylynn Wright
Kaylynn Wright, Assistant Sports Editor
Kaylynn Wright is a junior from Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin studying journalism, and she is an Assistant Sports Editor for the 2024-2025 school year. Outside of the Wire, she enjoys reading and watching baseball, specifically the San Francisco Giants and the Boston Red Sox. She is excited to meet new people and continue to create high-quality sports content for the Wire.
Katie Craig
Katie Craig, Staff Photographer
Katie is a Staff Photographer at the Wire. She is a first-year from Lakeville, MN studying digital media and minoring in advertising. In her free time, Katie enjoys photography and hanging out with her friends. This year Katie is looking forward to getting to know more people and improving her photography skills.

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