Iowa Women's Basketball

WNBA Draft is Wednesday, and Megan Gustafson, Bridget Carleton are sure to be selected

The national player of the year, Gustafson should go in the first round

Iowa’s Megan Gustafson and Iowa State’s Bridget Carleton will hear their names during the WNBA Draft on Wednesday. (The Gazette)
Iowa’s Megan Gustafson and Iowa State’s Bridget Carleton will hear their names during the WNBA Draft on Wednesday. (The Gazette)

Megan Gustafson tweeted Monday, "I swear the Cedar Rapids Airport is my new home."

The travel didn’t end when her season did. Here for this award. There for that honor.

Wednesday, she’ll learn her future professional destination.

The consensus national women’s basketball player of the year, Gustafson is projected as a late first-round pick in Wednesday’s WNBA Draft at the Nike New York Headquarters.

ESPN2 will carry the first round, which begins at 6 p.m. CT. The next two rounds are on ESPNU.

A 6-foot-3 post, Gustafson led Iowa (29-7) to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1993. The Hawkeyes were Big Ten tournament champions.

She was selected as the national player of the year by the Associated Press and ESPN, also winning the prestigious Naismith Award, after leading the nation in scoring (27.8 points per game) and field-goal accuracy (69.6 percent).

Mock drafts have her going somewhere from 10th to 12th. There are 12 teams in the WNBA.

“(Gustafson is) really, really good at finishing down low, even if her skill set isn’t so versatile yet,” according to a scouting report by SB Nation, which has her pegged as the 12th selection, by the Seattle Storm.

“She could serve as a crucial backup early on for the defending-champion Storm. Five years from now, she can be so much more.”

ESPN also has Gustafson going to the Storm at No. 12. Draftsite.com has her 10th, going to the Washington Mystics.

Samantha Logic was the most recent Hawkeye drafted; she was picked 10th in 2015.

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The Las Vegas Aces have the first pick in the draft, and are expected to take Asia Durr of Louisville or Teaira McCowen of Mississippi State.

Iowa State’s Bridget Carleton also will be drafted, most likely in the second round, though there’s an outside chance she could go late in the first.

Carleton was the Big 12 player of the year, leading the Cyclones to a 26-9 record and the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

She averaged 21.7 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.

The WNBA regular season tips off May 24, and runs through Sept. 8.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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