Devan Bawinkel and his Winnebago (Ill.) High School team finished another strong year with a 29-4 record but for the second year in a row lost in the finals of the state tournament. Bawinkel, a 6-foot-5, 185-pound combo guard, will now turn his attention to playing with the Illinois Wolves and his recruitment, while the ultimate goal in his mind is to win that illusive state championship his senior season.
"I want to get back to state and win it next year," said Bawinkel, the No. 104 ranked player in the class of 2006. "We've finished second two years in a row. I'm going to keep hitting the weights and work on improving basically everything."
In Winnebago's 78-62 loss to Chicago's Hales Franciscan, Bawinkel went head to head against Purdue bound Nate Minnoy. Bawinkel finished with 24 points and Minnoy totaled 18 points.
Bawinkel, who averaged 21 points, 9 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game this season, has a slew of schools recruiting him.
"Right now I'm interested in Michigan State, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Stanford, DePaul, Georgetown, North Carolina State, Marquette, Miami, California and Ohio State," said Bawinkel. "They're all showing interest, and I spoke with most of them over the live period."
Out of Bawinkel's school list, Wisconsin, Marquette, North Carolina State and Georgetown already have offers on the table. Bawinkel also named Iowa, Northwestern, Northern Illinois, St. Louis and Eastern Illinois as schools that have also offered scholarships.
Taking a thorough approach to his recruitment, Bawinkel has already taken a number of unofficial visits.
"My most recent unofficial visit was to DePaul," he said. "I've also been to Michigan State, Northwestern, Iowa, Notre Dame and Wisconsin. I'm going to Georgetown and Miami over the spring break."
Comparisons have been made between Bawinkel and former Illinois Wolves guard Bobby Frasor, who is headed to North Carolina. Like Frasor, Bawinkel has a great feel for the game, is highly skilled and is a combo guard capable of running the point. Bawinkel, however, is not yet the outside shooter that Frasor is, but Bawinkel is stronger around the basket and a better rebounder. Bawinkel could also slide over to the small forward position in a small lineup.
Academically, Bawinkel has a 4.0 GPA and has already achieved a qualifying test score.