I would like to personally thank Coug03 for finally pulling out of my shell and getting me back to posting about Cougar basketball. I've been waiting for something to get after and a recent discussion on Abe Lodwick has inspired me. So, thank you, brother.
There seems to be a bit of a divide in the opinion of Lodwick, and his contributions to the team. Some have even voiced their opinion about his minutes, whether he's getting enough or too many. There is also a bit of a misunderstanding (in my opinion) of Lodwick's role within the offense. When Coug03 posed a very simple and straight forward question, I felt that the question couldn't be answered without going a bit deeper into the offense that the Cougs have been running this year. The question; "What position do you think he is playing on offense the majority of the time?" While many would argue that he is playing some minutes at the "3", I can say with a great deal of confidence that that is just not the case.
I'll start by addressing one of my largest pet peeves about basketball; the numeric position system. This game doesn't always break down to "this guy plays the 4" or "that guy plays the 3". Many times it is a simple as bigs and smalls, or posts and guards. Based on what we've seen so far this year, I'd say that Bone's offense is a pretty simple "screener/shooter" flex. This is a system in which two screeners will provide screens for three shooters. Those screeners loosely fall into the catagory of "bigs." Those minutes have been going to four players; Casto, Lodwick, Motum, and Simon. (Enquist gets some minutes if the team is in foul trouble) You will find these screeners hovering along the side of the key, extending out to the three point line, and even screening from the elbow and across the free-throw line.
The beauty of this offense is that it is simply run, but has endless options. Those screeners screen down for the shooters who are working hard off the ball, running off of those screens in order to receive the ball. The options can range anywhere from catch and shoot, catch and curl, pick and roll, pick and pop, slip the screen ... the list goes on. But it is all built around the screener - shooter concept.
Now, back to Lodwick's role. Those of you who know me, know that I am a film junky. Whether I'm writing or not, I do an exhaustive film break down of every Cougar game I can get my hands on. Though my old friend Nuss has pulled me into the world of statistics, I still believe that the proof is in the film. Be it that I am currently living in Oklahoma (which totally sucks, by the way), I have not been able to watch every minute of this team's season. But I have broken down every bit of film that has been televised this season. Aside formbreaking the Baylor zone, Lodwick has exclusively played the role of "screener." If you were to force the issue of placing numbers on the system then you would have to consider him a 4 or a five. Playing the large majority of his minutes with either Casto or Motum on the floor, I don't think anyone would go so far as to call him a "5". At no point, however, has he played anything that resembles the "shooters" role within the offense. When he does get a chance to shoot from the outside it is as a result of playing as a "screener."
A good comparison would be the Detroit Piston's 6 to 8 years ago. Picture Rip Hamilton coming off of Rasheed Wallace screens. I don't think anyone was confusing Rasheed as a "3" in that offense. That has been the role that Lodwick has been fulfilling within the concept of this offense this season.
Again, if you wanted force the issue with the numbers, then it poses a another question; If Lodwick is playing at the "3" then who is playing the "4"? I ask this because I haven't seen one minute of play where he is on the floor without there being three guards on the court with him.
So, Coug03, to answer your question I would say that he is playing as a "screener/big." If you you were to force me to speak in the numeric language (though I don't think it really applies) I would say that he is this teams primary "4."