Markell Lodge was part of St. Joe's four-man 2014 recruiting class, alongside Shavar Newkirk, James Demery, and Obi Romeo. Lodge sat out the 2014-2015 season so that he could focus solely on his academics. Now a redshirt freshman, Lodge is looking to contribute in the Hawks' frontcourt.
As a high school senior at Pace Academy, Markell Lodge averaged 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks per contest. Despite being a bit undersized as a power forward at 6'6-6'7, Lodge is able to compensate with his length, strength, and second-to-none athleticism. His skill set is vastly different than that of the two other players at his position, Isaiah Miles and Pierfrancesco Oliva. Miles, a senior, is arguably the best shooter on the Hawks, while Oliva will earn playing time with his passing and versatility. Neither are close to the athlete that Lodge is. Hawk assistant coach Dave Duda spoke about what Lodge brings to the table.
"I would have liked to see where he would have been had he been able to practice last season," Coach Duda began. As a result of redshirting the year for academic purposes, Lodge was ineligible to practice with the team a year ago. "He has high-level athletic ability. Must stay true to his package-run the floor, finish at the rim, and rebound. If he does that, he will help."
The Hawk front court is crowded this season, with Aaron Brown as a combo forward, Isaiah Miles and Pierfrancesco Oliva as 4s, and then Papa Ndao, Jai Williams, and Javon Baumann in the middle. Markell Lodge's role with the team this year will likely therefore be more in spot duty. However, he will get an opportunity to get his feet wet as a freshman, then see an increased role in a year with Brown, Miles, and Ndao all graduating.
The Player Profile series will roll on Monday with a look at sophomore point guard Shavar Newkirk.
Player Profile: Markell Lodge
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