Iowa's Megan Gustafson named AP first-team all-American

Dargan Southard
Hawk Central

Ahead of the biggest game of her career, more accolades are rolling in for Megan Gustafson.

Iowa's senior standout was named a first-team all-American by the Associated Press Monday, just hours before the Hawkeyes face Baylor in the Elite Eight at Greensboro Coliseum. 

Iowa State's Bridget Carleton made the second team.

Gustafson is joined on the All-America team by UConn's Napheesa Collier, Oregon's Sabrina Ionescu, Louisville's Asia Durr and Mississippi State's Teaira McCowan.

The second team consists of Carleton, Notre Dame's Arike Ogunbowale, Baylor's Kalani Brown, California's Kristine Anigwe, and Stanford's Alanna Smith.

Gustafson's dominance has been long-established this season. She leads the nation in scoring (27.9 points per game), ranks third in rebounding (13.5 boards per game) and has rewritten the Iowa record books with authority. 

Gustafson has already been named the Big Ten player of the year, a first-team all-American and player of the year by espnW, as well as a finalist for the Naismith Trophy and Lisa Leslie Award. Those awards recognize women's college basketball top player and top center, respectively. 

"What makes Megan so special is her desire to work to be the best that she can be," Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said Sunday. "Her work ethic is second to none. She's not just the first person in the gym and the last person in the gym. It's what she does when she's in the gym. You know, I've seen a lot of kids come into the gym early, and they don't get half the workout of what she does in about three to five minutes.

"She's always in a 100 percent gear. I've never known a player that doesn't take possessions off, sometimes. She never takes a possession off. It will be the day before a game, and we'll be going against our gray squad and she's diving on the floor for a loose ball. I mean, she just does not take possessions off." 

Dargan Southard covers Iowa and UNI athletics, recruiting and preps for the Des Moines Register, HawkCentral.com and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Email him at msouthard@gannett.com or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.