#31 / Guard / Washington St. Cougars
Hometown: Bend, OR
High School: Mountain View
This is the latest in our series of WSU basketball player profiles, a new one of which will hit the site every couple of days early in the season. You can read the other players' profiles here.
If procrastination is an art form, call me Leonardo Da Vinci.
Our goal was to get all these player profiles up before the start of the season, but some people [points at self], well... procrastinated. But it wasn't done entirely out of malice for you, the reader. Truth be told I wanted to see how the team came out this year before making any bold predictions about where some players might land by year's end. It's hard to evaluate what you haven't seen, especially after all the off-season workouts and practices.
And yet even after all that posturing, I still don't have Abe Lodwick figured out.
I founded the Abe Lodwick Fan Club (TM, All Rights Reserved) in 2008 because anyone in the ZZU CRU who caught pre-game warmups was witness to the sight of Abe Lodwick draining shots from the perimeter. He had the best form I had seen from a WSU shooter during my time at school - better than even established shooters like Taylor Rochestie, Derrick Low and Daven Harmeling.
The problem is being a good shooter in practice doesn't always result in a player shooting the lights out during a game. And Abe has been an enigma in many ways during his time as a Cougar.
Abe Lodwick is a starter. You wouldn't know that, though, if you looked at his minutes. His maximum time on the court this season has been 24 minutes, and in Friday's Kansas State game he only logged 17 (granted, he had some foul trouble). Last year he started a number of games before Nikola Koprivica's 3-point shooting made it impossible to keep the Serbian on the bench any more. Abe ended up with a career high 11.7 minutes per game that year. Lodwick has re-claimed the starter's job at the 4, but it's one he shares constantly with fellow tall-white-sharpshooters Brock Motum and freshman Patrick Simon.
And then there's the three-point shooting. In 2009: 10.7%. 2010: 32.4% This season? So far - 16.7%. It's perplexing, and I think it's due for some regression. I've always felt Lodwick's upside is the aforementioned Koprivica. A quality, undersized player at the 4 who can defend and occasionally step out and drain the three. The unfortunate thing - or maybe it's the fortunate thing - is that WSU has two other players in Motum and Simon who are candidates to do the same.
In the meantime, we have to appreciate Lodwick for what he is: a quality borderline starter who can be plugged into the lineup at a variety of positions and hold his own on the court. He may never be the prolific shooter we hoped for, but he has shown he can be a quality defender and rebounding threat on a team that has so far struggled cleaning up the glass. Lodwick is part of the reason the Cougs contained Luke Sikma and part of the reason the interior defense of the 2-3 zone held up against a very physical K-State team (the rebounding was a different story, but that wasn't entirely his fault).
Best Case Scenario: 2009-10 Nikola Koprivica
Worst Case Scenario: 2008-09 Nikola Koprivica
Likely Scenario: Sixth Man/Starter who provides depth - and defense - and has the potential to go all Daven Harmeling on someone if the shooting comes together.