Out of the Box

In just his second collegiate game, freshman guard Devan Bawinkel displayed the shooting skills that had West Virginia and DePaul squaring off in a heated recruiting battle.

Bawinkel, who eventually chose the Mountaineers over the Blue Demons, demonstrated why the Big East teams worked so hard to secure him. Against an admittedly outmanned Slippery Rock team, the sharpshooting guard hit five of his six attempts from the field, including all three of his three-point attempts.

What made the display even more impressive was the fact that the shots were very dissimilar in nature. The Illinois native hit a couple of conventional threes out of West Virginia's offense, but also created a couple on his own. As the shot clock was winding down in the first half, he drove the right baseline, then pulled up for a fadeawy jumper that drew nothing but net from about 14 feet out. He then backed up that move with a high-arcing three in the second half from near the top of the key that soared over the outstretched hand of a defender.

Bawinkel totaled 13 points in just 17 minutes of play, and provided an excellent complementary scoring option to sixth man Da'Sean Butler, who figures to be the sparkplug off the bench for the West Virginia offense. However, if Bawinkel can continue to provide a couple of threes and keep defenses from loading up on Butler when West Virginia runs through its substitution patterns, the Mountaineers could be close to keeping a more balanced offensive team on the court when the starters come out for a rest. It's still early to count on such things, of course, but Bawinkel is certainly off to a good start.

Listen as Bawinkel discusses his early season success.


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