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Gustafson tabbed Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year

Iowa Hawkeyes forward Megan Gustafson (10) puts up a shot during a game against Drake at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Dec. 21, 2017. (Tork Mason/hawkeyesports.com)

Steve Batterson

Quad City Times

The 6-foot-3 post player from Port Wing, Wis., earned that honor Monday, Oct. 22, from both the league coaches and a media panel. It's one of the reasons the Hawkeyes are picked to finish second in the league race to a Maryland team which, like Iowa, returns four starters.DAVENPORT — Chasing Iowa career scoring and rebounding records as her senior season begins, Megan Gustafson will do so as the preseason women's basketball player of the year in the Big Ten.

Both league coaches and the media picked the Terrapins and Hawkeyes to finish 1-2, with the coaches choosing Michigan to take third and the media selecting Minnesota. Iowa and Maryland are scheduled to meet just once during the upcoming season, with the Hawkeyes hosting that game Feb. 17.

Gustafson earned All-American honors last season after leading NCAA Division I in scoring, field goal percentage (67.1), points per game (25.7) and field goals made (320). She also averaged 12.8 rebounds per game for a 24-8 Iowa team.

During her junior season, Gustafson joined Chiney Ogwumike of Stanford as the only NCAA women's basketball players in the past decade to average more than 24 points and 12 rebounds per game in a single season.

The former South Shore Cardinal enters her senior season with a chance to become the Hawkeyes' career leader in both scoring and rebounding, opening with 1,803 points and 979 boards.

Iowa's all-time scoring record of 2,102 points was set by Ally Disterhoft two years ago, while the rebounding record of 1,067 has stood since Cindy Haugejorde set it in 1980.

Unanimously named to 12-player preseason conference teams selected by conference coaches and the media, Gustafson was joined on the teams by Iowa junior Kathleen Doyle and Illinois senior Alex Wittinger.

Doyle led the Big Ten in assists in conference play last season, averaging 7.5 per game. The 5-9 guard from LaGrange Park, Illinois, averaged 11.1 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.

Wittinger, a senior forward, averaged 15 points and 9 rebounds per game last season for the Fighting Illini.

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.

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.

2018-19 Coaches Big Ten Preseason Rankings

  1. Maryland
  2. Iowa
  3. Michigan

2018-19 Coaches Preseason All-Big Ten Team

Alex Wittinger, Sr., F, Illinois

Kathleen Doyle, Jr., G, Iowa

MEGAN GUSTAFSON, Sr., F, Iowa

KAILA CHARLES, Jr., G, Maryland

HALLIE THOME, Sr., C, Michigan

Shay Colley, Jr., G, Michigan State

KENISHA BELL, Sr., G, Minnesota

Hannah Whitish, Jr., G, Nebraska

Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah, Sr., F, Northwestern

Teniya Page, Sr., G, Penn State

Ae'Rianna Harris, Jr., F, Purdue

Dominique Oden, Jr., G, Purdue

2018-19 Coaches Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year

Megan Gustafson, Sr., F, Iowa

2018-19 Medai Big Ten Preseason rankings

  1. Maryland
  2. Iowa
  3. Minnesota

2018-19 Media Preseason All-Big Team Team

Alex Wittinger, Sr., F, Illinois

Kathleen Doyle, Jr., G, Iowa

MEGAN GUSTAFSON, Sr., F, Iowa

KAILA CHARLES, Jr., G, Maryland

Hallie Thome, Sr., C, Michigan

Kenisha Bell, Sr., G, Minnesota

Destiny Pitts, So., G/F, Minnesota

Hannah Whitish, Jr., G, Nebraska

Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah, Sr., F, Northwestern

Teniya Page, Sr., G, Penn State

Ae'Rianna Harris, Jr., F, Purdue

Dominique Oden, Jr., G, Purdue

2018-19 Media Big Ten Preseason Player of the year

Megan Gustafson, Sr., F, Iowa

Unanimous selections listed in ALL CAPS

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