Megan Gustafson is going to need a bigger trophy case. The sensational Iowa senior's season and (sadly) Iowa career is done, but her incredible season is still receiving honors right and left. Let's start with the big one: AP Player of the Year.
BREAKING: Iowa's @GustafsonMeg10 is The AP women's college basketball player of the year.— AP Top 25 (@AP_Top25) April 4, 2019
Gustafson helped the Hawkeyes reach the Elite Eight for the first time since 1993 and led the nation in scoring for the second consecutive year.
by @DougFeinberg: https://t.co/YTRnj4cQtu pic.twitter.com/NTos4eA301
Her reaction to finding out about the win just makes it even better. Gustafson is not just the first Iowa player to ever win the award -- she's the first Big Ten player to ever win that award. That's right: no player from the Big Ten Conference has ever been named AP Player of the Year -- until now. Simply incredible. Gustafson received 15 votes from the 28-member national media poll (a full breakdown of votes was not available) and balloting was conducted before the NCAA Tournament, per the AP, so her excellent performances in carrying Iowa to the Elite 8 were not factored into that vote.
Gustafson also won the Lisa Leslie Award, which is awarded annual to the nation's best center:
And Gustafson won the 2018-19 Senior CLASS Award yesterday:
The CLASS Award, is given only to Division I seniors who "have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: classroom, community, character, and competition." CLASS stands for "Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School." On the court, Gustafson led the nation in scoring (27.9 ppg) and field goal percentage (69.6%) and tied the NCAA record for double doubles in a season (33) while leading Iowa to a Big Ten Tournament championship and a spot in the Elite 8 in the NCAA Tournament. Off the court, Gustafson is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree who also spends considerable time volunteering in and around the Iowa City community. She's the second Iowa player to win this award in the last five years; Samantha Logic also won it back in 2015.
Gustafson has also been racking up First Team All-America honors this week, first from the USBWA (United States Basketball Writers Association):
And then from the WBCA (Women's Basketball Coaches Association) as well:
And AWARD SZN might not be over for Gustafson, either. She's a finalist for the Wooden Award, which will be handed out next week (April 12):
This small town girl is heading to the red carpet! @GustafsonMeg10 is a finalist for the @WoodenAward! The winner will be announced during the ESPN College Basketball Awards on April 12 in Los Angeles.— Iowa Women's BBall (@IowaWBB) April 4, 2019
Release: https://t.co/7n6QeHsIID | #Hawkeyes #FightForIowa pic.twitter.com/RrUiYbPVkR
She's also a finalist for the Naismith Award, which will be announced on Saturday.
All your trophies are belong to Megan Gustafson. Every single one of these honors is fully deserved as well, as Gustafson really did complete one of the most incredible seasons in recent memory. Not just in Iowa history. Not just in Big Ten history. In NCAA history.
She's one of just four players to ever score more than 1,000 points in a season. Her double-double mark (33 in 36 games) was incredible. She was Iowa's best player and the focus of every opponent's defensive gameplan -- and she still delivered absolutely bonkers numbers night after night, game after game. She deserves every award she gets. It's been absolute privilege to watch her this season. Congratulations on a season overflowing with incredible achievements and glittering recognition, Megan.