Nov. 11, 2009
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch
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- Iowa and the Big Ten Network
- Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
- Purchase your tickets online!
Editor’s note: 24 Hawkeyes to Watch is a feature released Wednesday, Aug. 12, highlighting one athlete from each of the 24 intercollegiate sports offered by the University of Iowa. More than 700 talented student-athletes are currently busy preparing for the 2009-10 athletics year at the UI. Hawkeyesports.com will introduce you to 24 Hawkeyes who, for one reason or another, are poised to play a prominent role in the intercollegiate athletics program at the UI in the coming year.
IOWA CITY, Iowa — It is a statistical line that brings a grin and a shake of the head to reporters during every postgame. Baseball has its fabled Mendoza Line, a .200 batting average; perhaps college basketball should adopt a Bawinkel Line, a shooter who attempts exclusively three-pointers.
University of Iowa senior Devan Bawinkel — during his first season as a Hawkeye — shot 144 field goals and zero free throws. Of the field goal attempts, 139 were three-point offerings and just five were from inside the arc.
Some would view those numbers as odd; UI head coach Todd Lickliter views them as Bawkinkel playing to his strengths.
“Regardless of Devan’s role, he’s going to always put the team first,” Lickliter said. “He’s going to do things right and play to his strengths. I doubt you’ll see him inside the three-point arc at all.”
Bawinkel sank 51 three-pointers a year ago, second on the team to Matt Gaten’s 52. His three-point accuracy of 36.7 was actually higher than his overall percentage of 36.1 when the two-point field goals were included.
“It means I’m doing my job,” Bawinkel said. “This is what’s expected of me and that’s my role on the team. I don’t want to do anything that coach wouldn’t want me to. I want to shoot the 3. That’s what I’m good at, so that’s what I’m going to keep doing — knocking down the open shot, running the offense correctly, playing my role on defense and not turning the ball over.”
During a 60-58 loss to Ohio State on March 3, Bawinkel converted 8 of 13 three-point field goals for a game-high 24 points. He is one of only three Hawkeyes in school history to make eight three-pointers in a game.
“I just knew where to go in the openings of Ohio State’s zone and I got a lot of open looks,” Bawinkel said. “We had great spacing that night. My teammates get mad at me if I don’t shoot the 3. When I got the ball that night, I was looking to shoot it and I got a lot of open looks and they were falling.”
“Regardless of Devan’s role, he’s going to always put the team first. He’s going to do things right and play to his strengths. I doubt you’ll see him inside the three-point arc at all.”
UI head coach
Bawinkel’s career has taken a few twists since he was named Illinois Class A Player of the Year at Winnebago High School in 2006. He attended West Virginia from 2006-07, then, as a sophomore, transferred to Highland Community College in Freeport, Ill. This will be his second season as a Hawkeye, and he is the lone senior on the roster.
“It makes me feel old. I’m the old guy,” Bawinkel said. “It makes me realize how fast time goes by.”
After just one season with the Hawkeyes (where he started nine of 32 games), Bawinkel was named co-captain along with junior Jarryd Cole.
“I was caught off-guard when coach called me into his office and suggested I be a captain,” Bawinkel said. “It definitely makes me feel like he expects me to be a leader. It makes me feel very important. I’m honored to be captain. It means you show leadership on and off the court.”
The Hawkeyes finished 15-17 last season, 5-13 in the Big Ten Conference. Iowa was 13-4 in home games and 10-4 against nonconference competition.
“We just want to win,” Bawinkel said. “Last year we were in position to win a lot of games and we didn’t. I remember a lot of close games that could have gone either way. We’re hoping this year we win those games. That could put us in position to be in the upper part of the Big Ten.”
A year ago, the Hawkeyes lost 10 games by eight points or less, including seven by five points or less. A split of those 10 contests would have given Iowa a 20-win season and likely a postseason tournament berth. Bawinkel said he is much more comfortable entering the second year with Lickliter’s schemes.
“Last year was a lot different,” Bawinkel said. “It was my first year here and I was like a freshman getting used to the system and getting familiar with everyone. This year we all know each other really well and we have good team bonding. I know what’s expected of me and I’m a lot more confident. I’m super-excited to play and I’m ready to get the season started.”
“We just want to win. Last year we were in position to win a lot of games and we didn’t. I remember a lot of close games that could have gone either way. We’re hoping this year we win those games. That could put us in position to be in the upper part of the Big Ten.”
UI senior Devan Bawinkel
The Hawkeyes defeated Marian (Ind.) 76-53 in an exhibition game Nov. 8. Bawinkel scored 12 points, making 4 of 6 field goals. Yes, all six were three-point attempts.
The opening regular-season challenge will be against Texas-San Antonio on Sunday, Nov. 15, in a preliminary round of the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic. That game will also be in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Lickliter and his staff are entering their third season at the UI. They like what Bawinkel has to offer.
“Devan is very bright and very likeable,” Lickliter said. “He’s a guy that really wants to recapture what Hawkeye basketball should be about. He’s likeable and he’s driven and I think that’s really huge.”
Similarly, Bawinkel has a grasp on what Lickliter is trying to achieve.
“Once you understand that coach wants to win so badly, you really start believing in what he does,” Bawinkel said. “It’s a good relationship because he really teaches the game. Once you do things his way and believe in his system, you will be successful. He teaches the game extremely well.”
Teaching is an area that also interests Bawinkel. A communication studies major, he would eventually like to become a high school athletics director. In his home state of Illinois, that requires at least a two-year teaching stint.
“I would love to be a high school coach, too,” Bawinkel said.
Bawinkel is well-traveled during his college years and he said the fan support at Iowa sticks out above the others.
“The fans should come watch us this year because we have a lot of new faces,” Bawinkel said. “We also return a lot of good players. Last year we were 13-4 at home, so the more fans we get, the better we’ll do. They’ll be like a sixth man to keep us motivated and keep things exciting.”
Those fans will undoubtedly see Bawinkel roaming at least 20-feet, 9-inches from the hoop.