Schwartz: 10 Sentences – Megan Gustafson a Generational Player

March 17, 2019

Written by David Schwartz

There will be more to write about once the brackets are released today and Monday, but for now only one thing is worthwhile. Here are your weekly 10 sentences:

1. ESPN on Friday named Iowa’s Megan Gustfason its National Player of the Year, and really, there was no other viable candidate to challenge the Hawkeye senior after she averaged 28 points and 13 rebounds a game to help her team to a 26-6 overall record, second-place regular-season finish in the Big Ten, and Big Ten Tournament championship.

2. When her Hawkeye career ends in a few weeks – and it’s not absurd to daydream about it ending with her and her teammates hoisting a national championship – she will go down as the most decorated Hawkeye basketball player ever.

3. And yet somehow, despite more Big Ten Player of the Week awards than she’ll ever be able to fit on her wall, two consecutive years of leading the country in scoring, and 2,700 career points – good GRIEF 2,700! – there is no metric by which to fully appreciate her.

4. If you’re trying to come up with an all-time Hawkeye sports Mt. Rushmore – the top 4 figures in Iowa sports history – she’ll have a place in an impossible conversation that includes Nile Kinnick, Christine Grant, Dan Gable, Hayden Fry, Kirk Ferentz, Ronnie Lester, and now, Gustafson.

5. (I’m sure I’ve forgotten someone important on that list.)

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6. It takes a remarkable feat for a Hawkeye figure to garner the sort of national spotlight awarded Gustafson – Gable’s run of titles as a coach, Grant’s international leadership in women’s athletics, Chris Kingsbury firing up 30-foot three-pointers before Steph Curry had barely started elementary school – but she, with the help of her teammates, did it.

7. It’s doubtful we’ll ever see a basketball player at Iowa as dominant as Gustafson again in our lifetime.

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8. Also, the men’s team won a game Thursday night for the first time since Feb. 22, and from the sound of it that might have been enough to move them into an 8-9 matchup in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

9. Realistic best-case scenario is a first-round win and a second-round matchup against Duke, which might slide up into a top seed following its win in the ACC Tournament; I wouldn’t even be mad if Zion put up 30 and 14 (henceforth known as “a Gustafson”) on Iowa – it would just be fun to see how the Hawkeyes match up.

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10. Today is selection Sunday for the men’s bracket, and whatever happens happens, and I suspect we’ll all be slightly (but not completely) more forgiving when CBS unveils “Iowa” in its bracket, because that’s always a good feeling, even when we know that at one point this season that 8 or 9 (or 10 or 11) next to their name might have been as high as a 6.

* Talk with David Schwartz on Twitter @daveschwartz.

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