TREMENDOUS SHOOTER, tremendous upside, tremendous Northwest talent staying home. All of that describes Oregon's Abe Lodwick, who told CF.C on Wednesday he's coming to Pullman. The versatile 6-7 wing, who can play the 2 or 3 spot, was one of the best kept secrets in the Northwest and also in the entire West, choosing Washington State over offers from Oregon, Northwestern and a number of others.

Lodwick (6-7, 185) visited Washington State last month and took one final official visit to New Mexico this past weekend. After a few days, the lefty sharpshooter decided Friel Court is where he's going to make his mark.

"I decided to go to Washington State," said Lodwick. "I called them today and told coach Bennett I would be going there next year. He was real happy, and said he was really looking forward to me coming there...and I'm looking forward to being part of the Cougar family."

Tony Bennett, who came to Wazzu with coaching icon and father Dick Bennett three years ago, enters his first season at the Cougars helm this November following the elder Bennett's retirement. On his official trip to the Palouse, Lodwick said he and the younger Bennett talked hoops, and about how Lodwick's game and what Bennett is doing out on the Palouse fit like hand and glove.

"They wanted to open up the offense a little bit more and as a player, I thought I would do better in that (system) and become a better player in an offensive minded game," said Lodwick. "But I also know how important defense is at Washington State."

RECRUITING GURUS WHO HAVE seen Lodwick play rave about a silky smooth shooting touch plus solid rebounding skills, particularly on the defensive end. It also doesn't hurt that Lodwick can play either small forward or shooting guard at Washington State. Potential is another watchword for Lodwick, who has a very high ceiling over the course of his D-IA career.

"Outside of Oregon, few knew about Lodwick," says West Coast Analyst Greg Hicks of "Abe Lodwick is one of the best-kept secrets in the class of 2007. A very skilled lefty, Lodwick has a great feel for the game and he's an underrated athlete. He didn't get a lot of exposure on the AAU circuit, but we expect him to be a terrific player at the next level."

One school who did know all about Lodwick was Oregon, and Lodwick could have stayed in-state and accepted the Ducks' offer. UO had made a strong push for Lodwick earlier this recruiting season but the Mt. View High senior just didn't feel it was quite the right fit. Significant interest came from a number of other schools, with Lodwick pulling down double digit offers in addition to WSU that included the likes of Oregon, Northwestern, New Mexico, Santa Clara, Long Beach State Cal-Poly, some of the Ivy League schools and others. Oregon State was also showing significant interest.

"Coach Bennett has recruited me for a long time and ultimately that was a big thing I looked at," said Lodwick. "I'm looking forward to being part of Cougar Basketball and hopefully helping making them successful -- Washington State basketball is on the way up right now. Coach Bennett is doing some real good things. It's going to be exciting."

Lodwick averaged 16 points a game as a junior despite the fact his role at Mountain View High wasn't to be the team's "scorer." Lodwick's other 2005-06 game averages include eight boards, four assists and two blocks. A mature and articulate young man, Lodwick is an excellent student, scoring a 1700 (2400 scale) on the SAT.

Abe Lodwick profile

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