Megan Gustafson has been terrific for Iowa since arriving in Iowa City for the Hawkeyes two years ago and she's only been getting better and better. Her eye-popping stats and impressive performances have started to earn her some much-deserved attention as well. On November 9 she was named to the Katrina McClain Award Watch List; the McClain Award is given out each year to recognize the top power forward in college basketball. Yesterday she was named to the Naismith Trophy Watch List:
Our very own Megan Gustafson has been named to the Naismith Trophy Watch List | https://t.co/QElGycfzTX
— Iowa Women's BBall (@IowaWBB) November 30, 2017
The Naismith Trophy is awarded to the nation's top overall player; it's the Heisman of college basketball, essentially. Gustafson is on the watch list with 50 other players, including eight other Big Ten competitors. The watch list will be cut to 30 players in February and awarded at the season's conclusion.
Gustafson was excellent last year -- she averaged 18.9 ppg and 10.1 rpg while making 64.7% of her field goals. She set multiple school records, including most double doubles in a single season (18) and shattered the single-season rebound record (343; the old mark was 306). She was Top 15 nationally in field goal percentage (5th), double doubles (10th), field goals made (11th), and total rebounds (11th). Those numbers deservedly earned her All-Big Ten honors last year.
So far she's been even better this season. Gustafson is averaging 22.9 ppg (12th in the nation) and 12.9 rebounds per game (5th in the nation). She has seven double doubles in eight games (2nd most in the nation) and she leads the nation with 79 made field goals (2nd most is 69 made field goals, which is nice). She's still a very high percentage shooter as well, making 70.5% of her shots so far this year (3rd best in the nation). She is simply an absolute force this year and it's going to be a lot of fun to watch her maul opponents this season. She scored 35 points on Western Kentucky this year -- without even dribbling:
Congratulations to Gustafson on an excellent start to the season and being named to the Naismith Trophy Watch List; if you want to see one of the most dominant players in college basketball this winter, hit up an Iowa women's basketball game and check out Gustafson.