Megan Gustafson Earns Big Ten Player of the Week Again; Iowa Remains #25

By RossWB on December 18, 2017 at 3:24 pm
Winner, winner.

@IowaWBB

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Another week, another Big Ten Player of the Week* honor for Megan Gustafson. This is becoming a very nice Monday tradition, frankly. 

Iowa had just one game last week, their 71-47 roasting of UNI yesterday, but as usual, Gustafson was an integral part of Iowa's victory. She posted her 11th double-double in 12 games this year (tied for the most in the NCAA this season), going off for 26 points and 10 rebounds against the Panthers. It was her sixth game with 20+ points this season and another example of her incredible efficiency from the floor: her 26 points came on 11/15 shooting (73%) from the field. For the season, Gustafson is making 70.3% of her field goal attempts, best in the Big Ten and third-best in the entire nation (Gustafson has the women ahead of her in field goal percentage beat in volume, though -- she's attempted 87 more shots than the woman leading the NCAA and 28 more shots than the woman in second place). Gustafson also ranks sixth in the nation in rebounds per game at 12.3 per game so far. 

Gustafson's stellar play so far this season is also garnering some glowing acknowledgement from opponents and analysts, which is very welcome. The latest witness to the Gustafson Domination Tour, UNI head coach Tanya Warren, had high praise for Gustafson after her showing yesterday: 

She's right, though: Gustafson is absolutely on an All-America pace right now. And ESPN's Rebecca Lobo -- who knows a thing or two about good bigs -- was singing Gustafson's praises on the Worldwide Leader yesterday too: 

Gustafson is a special player and it's going to be a delight to watch her tear up the Iowa record books over the next two years -- and hopefully lead the team to some postseason glory as well. 

Speaking of the team, Iowa held firm at #25 in this week's AP poll after their win over UNI. They did widen the gap between themselves and the teams outside the rankings, though; this week they had 71 points, 14 more than the highest vote-getter outside the rankings (Oklahoma State, 57 points). Last week they had 55 points, just one more than the highest vote-getter outside the rankings (Oklahoma State, 54 points). There wasn't much opportunity to make a move in the rankings this week, given that a win over UNI wasn't going to do much to move the needle and the fact that there were only two losses involving Top 25 team last week (Florida State lost to #8 Texas, 87-72, and fell from #12 to #13, and Oregon lost to #5 Mississippi State, 90-79, and fell from #9 to #10). Iowa hosts Drake (5-6) on Thursday (7 PM CT).

* OK, yes, technically she was the Co-Player of the Week this week, with Ohio State's Kelsey Mitchell. Mitchell had a very fine week herself. 

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