Whenever Villanova coach Jay Wright talks about his team's seniors and their contributions to the 113 victories achieved over the last four seasons, he mentions Ryan Arcidiacono and Daniel Ochefu but he never forgets the three whom few people know, walk-ons Henry Lowe, Patrick Farrell and Kevin Rafferty.
The fact that the trio has accounted for a total of just 27 points during their careers is irrelevant. He appreciates the work they've done behind the scenes helping the team prepare for games on and off the court or instructing younger players about the Wildcats' program.
And the three seniors, who receive loud ovations at the Pavilion when they enter games there, are thankful in return.
"There's a phrase we have around here: Everyone's status is the same but everybody's role is different," said Lowe, a 5-foot-11 point guard from New York. "We do mostly off-the-court work. But our coaches, players, and staff value that just as much. That's really special to be a part of."
The 6-5 Farrell, from Rockville Centre, N.Y., said the trio pays as much attention to detail as each of their teammates.
"Every little thing matters," he said, "whether it's us learning to run the other team's plays or just getting the guys ready before the game by rebounding. Every little thing comes down to the game."
Lowe and Farrell have been with the program since their freshman years. The 6-8 Rafferty, a graduate of Malvern Prep, transferred to Villanova from Tufts, participated as a practice player as a sophomore and has spent the last two seasons on the varsity.
When Lowe and Farrell first arrived on campus, they helped form, at Wright's request, the "Bench Mob" - a group of reserves who kept things light and loose given that the Wildcats had come off the worst season of the coach's tenure, a 13-19 mark in the 2011-12 season.
"They were the best at it - I would put them up against the bench mob at Monmouth," Wright said, referring to the reserves from the New Jersey team who received much national attention earlier in the season for choreographed sideline routines.
"They were characters. They gave so much to our team. They made it fun for all of our guys as they worked through it. They made the guys feel good about themselves. It was really important to us at that time."
The following season, however, Wright asked them to take on a more serious role "to help strengthen our culture and teach new walk-ons, new freshmen," and to be an extension of the starters when they entered a game at the end.
"We want to play 40 minutes of Villanova basketball, so their two minutes count," he said. "If they go in there and clown around, then the young freshmen are going to see that. But they see them do what they do and play the right way and they say, 'Well, I'd better do it, too.' "
Farrell saw his time really count on Friday in the NCAA tournament opener against UNC-Asheville when he drilled a three-point basket for Villanova's last score of the game. His teammates on the bench went wild.
"It definitely felt good," Farrell said. "On game days we don't take many shots, we're mostly rebounding [shots from the regular players]. So when you go in and take that first shot, you're not exactly sure where that shot is going to go."
Rafferty, who has played in 27 games in his two seasons, called his time "an unbelievable experience.
"I'm just blessed to be around this program and to be in it with these guys and with Daniel and Arch, so I'm in a great class," he said.
Arcidiacono gives much credit to Lowe, Farrell, and Rafferty.
"They're making sure that everyone knows the scouting report, that they're ready to go on the sideline at any given moment in practice, help us get ready for different lineups," he said. "When they go in the game, they're playing the right way, and that just shows their commitment level."