A few years ago, Nate Oats knew something needed to change. And, former assistant coach Lindsey Hunter had an idea.
“We had a few prima donnas and he made the comment before one game, ‘we needed to be more blue-collar,'” Oats told News 4 earlier this season.
And so, the blue-collar mentality was born.
“It kind of became a sense of pride. You know, we got guys that want to take charges, dive for loose balls. That stuff doesn’t show up in a box score. They do stuff that matters to winning,” added Oats.
Ever since the idea came to life, the Bulls have done just that — win.
From a single game, to a regular season title, tournament championship and win at the Big Dance, having a “Blue Collar” mentality has helped propel UB to new heights.
“I kind of love the idea of guys, everybody playing hard. Not just one or two people.” said Dontay Carothers. “It brings out who wants to be the hardest playing dude. For us to translate that into a game I think it was great.”
“When you see one of our guards, our tough guards, take a charge its on you now to take a charge or get a tough rebound or dive on the floor for a loose ball,” added Jeremy Harris.
From pre-game shootaround to their play on the court until the final buzzer, it’s 40 minutes of blue-collar fun battling for the most coveted prize of all, for the hardest working Bull — the hard hat.
“I walk a little taller, step a little louder,” Caruthers joked. “I think everybody does.”
“I know when I get it, I brag about it,” Harris said. “I just put it on with a little bit of a swag and a little bit of pride.”
“We want to come in and make tough, hardnosed plays that impact winning,” added Oats. “They kind of took ownership with it, took pride in it and it’s been a pretty big thing here the last two years.”
And, it’ll continue to have a big impact as the Bulls make another postseason run.