IOWA CITY — University of Iowa senior Megan Gustafson was named the Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year, the conference announced Monday.
Junior Kathleen Doyle earned preseason All-Big Ten honors,
The Hawkeyes were picked to finish second in the Big Ten by the conference’s head coaches and media. Iowa went 24-8 last season and advanced to the NCAA tournament. The Hawkeyes return six of their top seven scorers from last season, including Gustafson, Doyle, junior Makenzie Meyer, senior Tania Davis, redshirt sophomore Alexis Sevillian and senior Hannah Stewart.
Gustafson, the 2017-18 Big Ten Player of the Year (media), was a unanimous preseason All-Big Ten selection by the league media and coaches. The All-American led the NCAA in points per game (25.7), field goal percentage (67.1) and field goals made (320) last season. Gustafson became one of only two NCAA women’s basketball players in the last 10 years to average 24 or more points and 12 or more rebounds.
A native of Port Wing, Wis., Gustafson enters her senior season with 1,803 career points and 979 rebounds, putting her in position to become the seventh Big Ten student-athlete to register 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in her career. Gustafson also is in position to break Iowa’s all-time career scoring and rebounding marks. Ally Disterhoft set the all-time career scoring record of 2,102 in 2017 and Cindy Haugejorde set the career rebound mark of 1,067 in 1980.
Doyle, a 2017-18 second team All-Big Ten selection (coaches), earns the first preseason honor of her career. The LaGrange Park, Ill., native finished last season ranked 12th nationally in assists per game (6.6) and 21st in total assists (199). The junior led the Big Ten with 7.5 assists per game in conference action last season. She scored in double figures 17 times, and dished out six or more assists on 22 occasions.
The Hawkeyes open the 2018-19 season with an exhibition contest against Dakota Wesleyan on Nov. 6. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.