Combing for 30 of Marquette's 34 bench points, the trio comprised of freshmen Lazar Hayward, David Cubillan and junior Lawrence "Trend" Blackledge showed how deep the Marquette bench will be able to go this season.
Leading the way was freshman Hayward with 14 points, three rebounds, and four of the team's 17 steals while playing just 17 minutes. He also shot five for eight from the field and knocked down two three-pointers.
"[Hayward] can shoot the ball, said head coach Tom Crean. "He has a scorer's mentality and that is really important for our club right now."
In tonight's game, Hayward cemented himself as a key player in the Marquette offense while still trying to play catch up on his conditioning.
"He is going to get a lot better. He is trying to get into a shape that these other guys have been in for some time," said Crean.
Sophomore guard Dominic James expects even more great things from the eager and athletic Hayward in games to come.
"He has made a lot of progress and has really come a long way," said James. "I am sure that he is going to find different ways that he can contribute."
Alongside Hayward, Cubillan again added a spark to the offense, contributing 10 points, all of which came in the second half. Cubillan shot three of five from the field including two of three from behind the arc.
Not to be outdone, Blackledge shot 3-of-4, tallying six points, two rebounds and two steals in 14 minutes and brought the crowd to its feet when he dunked a half court lob from sophomore Dominic James in the second half.
The ability of the three to step up and handle the pressure makes their teammates feel more comfortable, too.
"[When they get on the floor] it is a great feeling. It's a great feeling when you can put your number 6, 7, 8 guys in and we don't loose a beat," said sophomore guard Wes Matthews.
Tom Crean feels the same level of comfort and is happy with the impact that they have had.
"I am really glad that in three games David, Trend and certainly Lazar have had a chance to do some good things on the floor for us," said Crean.
Last season, three freshmen were largely responsible for a run to the NCAA tournament. Those three freshmen are now sophomores, and these three newcomers are picking up right where they left off.
**Eric Titze is a senior majoring in Political Science and Referee Studies