A look at: Devan Bawinkel

BlueGoldNews.com watched the games of the Red Oxen at West Virginia's basketball camp. Here's a look at an individual player and what he might bring to the Mountaineers this season. Now, hard-nosed shooting guard Devan Bawinkel.

Bawinkel's play resembles that of a typical John Beilein recruit. He is not a stylish, flashier player by any measure; he is, instead, steady as she goes. He is listed at 6-5, 190 pounds, but it reads here that he didn't look that big. He also played more like a 6-3 to 6-4 player with game intelligence. He can shoot well and has the ability to drive, but does none of these as well as other incoming players.

He also does nothing very poorly. This is sort of the vanilla, can-play athlete Beilein loves to mold. He is a mix of Johannes Herber and Mike Gansey. Bawinkel can drive and finish. He was never the main scorer in any game and, like Herber and Cam Thoroughman, what he does might often be lost in the box scores, like setting screens or diving for loose balls. But when he is on the floor, you'll eventually note a change in the way West Virginia operates. It can be subtle, and likely will, but WVU's game will elevate when he is there because of the intangibles.

Bawinkel noted on his recruiting trips that he liked a true college town, one with high-level football and all the trimmings. He found that in Morgantown, and it was what eventually gave West Virginia the Winnebago, Ill. Recruits commit. The final two schools were Big East rival DePaul and the Mountaineers, and WVU's prospects looked grim when Bawinkel's Illinois Wolves AAU teammate, Will Walker, committed to the Blue Demons. Also, DePaul head coach Jerry Wainwright's style appealed to the versatile athlete. But WVU's location and feel finally tipped the scales.

Now, Bawinkel projects anywhere from a two to three player for West Virginia. The point guard spot is nailed down to Darris Nichols and Joe Mazzulla, but, like Herber, Bawinkel could even fill in there if need be. But he will likely be used most at the two, and as a swingman. He seems an immediate backup, and his outside shooting might make him a perfect candidate to come off the bench and toss in 22-foot daggers into opposing teams.

Bawinkel hit 45 three-pointers his junior season, and that, combined with his ability to put the ball on the floor and drive will force teams to play him honestly. All his other talents – rebounding, heady play, the aforementioned other intangibles – will help him see court time whenever possible. WVU allows players at the 2 through 4 to do so many similar things, and Bawinkel will be a great filler player, even as a freshman.

Another aspect that helps Bawinkel is that, like the rest of WVU's incoming class, he has won at the high school level. Some kids are just winners, and if they come from programs that win, Beilein's thought process goes, that will translate to the college level because they will not settle for losing. Twice in Bawinkel's high school tenure, his team lost in the state finals, which leaves a lingering desire to finish big games.

And, with his package of talents, Bawinkel and Throughman will be the two players to watch this fall to see which can earn time at the many available backup slots.

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