“It’s vital for our tournament success,” Hartsock said. “Our bench play is crucial for us, especially this time a year when everyone might be a little fatigued and tired.”
So far, the bench has produced. In the Cougars’ opening round game against Wofford, senior Logan Magnusson scored 10 points, just his second game in double figures all season.
In their second-round win over Gonzaga, it was sophomore Stephen Rogers who emerged with 10 points and three rebounds in just 11 minutes.
The added contributions from role players have been especially important since starting forward Brandon Davies was suspended for violating the school’s honor code. But BYU coach Dave Rose said it’s a trend that started long before the Cougars lost their third-leading scorer.
“I believe that it’s one of the strengths of our team that we’ve had guys that have stepped up all year long,” Rose said. “And we’ll need that to happen on Thursday in order to be successful.”