Villanova walk-ons have special role

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That’s Villanova’s motto this season. Everyone on the team — including the three senior walk-ons, Kevin Rafferty, Pat Farrell and Henry Lowe— has a role in their success.

“I’m 52. Henry’s zero,” said Rafferty, who spends game day leading the cheers until those moments the game’s secure and the three of them get to finish things off. “We feel part of the team just like everyone else.Everyone’s role is different. Pat, Henry and I have different roles, but we take great pride in doing best we can.

“We’re constantly encouraging the younger guys and reminding our older guys we all hold each other accountable,” added Lowe, who hasn’t scored a single point this season. Rafferty has four. “Playing for one another is a secret for our success.”

Their teammates and coach certainly appreciate it.

“They help us a lot,”said fellow seniorDaniel Ochefu. “They stay on the younger guys and do an amazing job getting us ready forsituations like this.The message is the same, but it means more hearing Pat, Henry and Kevin tell us we’ve got to defend and rebound and play harder because they’re watching the game. They’ve seen us do it.

“It’s great to have those three voices on the bench.”

According to Jay Wright — who’s lauded his senior class, which has recorded a school best 113-27record, the walk-ons value truly can’t be measured.

“They were the original bench mob guys,” said Wright, following Sunday’s 87-68 blowout of Iowa that advanced them to tomorrow’s Sweet 16 matchup vs Miami. “They did that before anybody did it their freshman year, when we stunk. I told them, we need that because we need some fun around here. We need some positivity.

“Then after their freshman year, I said, ‘Guys, we need you to grow up now, and we need you to have an impact on these younger guys,’ and they really did.”

As a result, seniors RyanArcidiacono,Ochefu,Rafferty, Farrell and Lowe are two steps away from the Final Four. And no less deserving than all the rest.

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