To cap off what was a wonderful season for the women of Iowa basketball, we had a couple of big time awards issued to two members of the program on Saturday morning. Naismith has named Lisa Bluder their National Coach of the Year, while Megan Gustafson is National Player of the Year.
Congrats to @IowaWBB for winning both the @wernerladderco Naismith Women’s COY and the @citizenwatchus Naismith Women’s POY awards. Full release > https://t.co/jLuGKDVN82 #Hawkeyes #FightForIowa pic.twitter.com/stuOuYsBdz— The Naismith Trophy (@NaismithTrophy) April 6, 2019
Gustafson, who has already amassed a large list of awards this season, is not only the first Iowa player (men’s or women’s hoops) to win the award, but she’s also the first Big Ten player to win Naismith Women’s Player of the Year. As a senior, she became just the fourth player and first non-guard in NCAA women’s basketball history to score over 1,000 points in a season (1,001), as she averaged 27.8 ppg on 70% shooting. She also accumulated 33 double-doubles, tying the NCAA record for most in a season, by averaging over 13 rebounds per game. She edged out Oregon junior Sabrina Ionescu, Notre Dame senior Arike Ogunbowale, and Louisville senior Asia Durr for the award.
Bluder, who led Iowa to its first Elite Eight appearance since 1993 and first Big Ten Tournament title since 2001, is the second Iowa coach to win Naismith National Coach of the Year. Coincidentally, the last time an Iowa coach won the award was 1993, when C. Vivian Stringer brought home the honor. Bluder’s been at the helm of the Iowa program for 19 seasons, and has had a great run of success, having taken Iowa to the postseason 18 times and winning at least 20 games in 10 of the last 12 seasons (12 times overall). She beat out finalists Kim Mulkey (Baylor), Wes Moore (North Carolina State), and Vic Schaefer (Mississippi State) for the award.
Congrats to Megan Gustafson and Lisa Bluder for a nice cherry on top of what was already a fantastic season!