Dallas Picks Iowa’s Megan Gustafson in WNBA Draft

April 10, 2019

Written by Rob Howe

Megan Gustafson realized a dream Wednesday night in New York City. Iowa’s all-American center was selected in the WNBA Draft.

The Dallas Wings chose the Port Wing, Wisc. product in the second round with the 17th overall pick. She became the fifth highest player picked from the Hawkeyes.

The Wings boasted the WNBA’s MVP runner-up in 6-8 center Liz Cambage last season. However, the native Australian has requested a trade, leaving some doubt about the team’s situation inside.

“There’s a lot of unknown in the post for Dallas with everything with Liz Cambage,” ESPN analyst LaChina Robinson said during Wednesday’s broadcast.

“Megan Gustafson was arguably the most relentless player in the country this season, not only in the rebounding ability but just in asking for the basketball. She found an angle to score. She was probably, in my opinion, the most unstoppable force.”

Being selected by the pros represented the latest chapter in what’s been an incredible senior season for Gustafson. She led Iowa to its first Elite Eight appearance since 1993 and just the third one all-time.

Gustafson, the first consensus national player of the year in Big Ten history, ended her career as Iowa’s all-time leader in points (2,804) and rebounds (1,460). In 2018-19, she became just the fourth Division I female student-athlete and the only post player to eclipse 1,000 points in a single season.

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She is the only women’s player in Division I history to average 27.8 or more points, 13.3 or more rebounds, and shoot 69.6 percent or better from the field. Her 33 double-doubles during her senior campaign are an NCAA Record. Gustafson’s 88 career double-doubles rank fourth all-time, her 65.7 career field goal percentage ranks fifth nationally, and her 1,459 career rebounds ranks 14th. The field goal percentage and rebounds are also Big Ten Conference records.

Some mock drafts projected Gustafson to go late in Wednesday’s first round. She waited a little longer to hear here name called as she sat in the green room with her parents and head coach Lisa Bluder.

“Here’s the good news for Megan Gustafson. She’s not going to get double- and triple-teamed, quadruple-teamed when she gets to the WNBA,” ESPN analyst Kara Lawson said during Wednesday’s broadcast.

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“The bad news is that the amount of length that she’s going to see at the post position is going to be an adjustment for her. She won’t all the time be able to just catch, turn and score, which we saw so often at Iowa.”

Gustafson did score 23 points and grab nine rebounds in an Elite Eight matchup with 6-7 Baylor center Kalani Brown, who was selected seventh overall Wednesday.

It had been four years since an Iowa player was chosen in the WNBA Draft. Atlanta tabbed guard Sam Logic with the 10th overall pick in ’15.

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Gustafson began her career the year after Logic left. She raised the Hawkeyes back to national prominence. They finished the regular season ranked eighth in the country.

“We might not be one of the top tier programs that everyone talks about but we definitely made a name for ourselves this year,” Gustafson told ESPN after being drafted. “It was an amazing run and I’m so proud to be an Iowa Hawkeye.”

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