#15 Iowa Women's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

Iowa Hawkeyes
Overall Rank: #15
Conference Rank: #2 Big Ten
Iowa Logo
The Iowa Hawkeyes laid for the foundation for the 2018-19 season by winning 24 games and returning to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015. However, Iowa did run into a bit of a buzzsaw in Creighton in the first round of the NCAA Tournament as the Blue Jays upset the Hawkeyes 76-70. Head Coach Lisa Bluder brings back four starters, led by Megan Gustafson, and should be one of the better offensive teams in the country once again and that will make them a very tough out all year long.
2017-18 Record: 24-8, 11-5
2017-18 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Lisa Bluder
Coach Record: 367-210 at Iowa, 723-352 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Chase Coley, Forward, 8.9 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Megan Gustafson, Senior, Forward, 25.7 ppg
Kathleen Doyle, Junior, Guard, 11.1 ppg
Makenzie Meyer, Junior, Guard, 10.8 ppg
Alexis Sevillian, Redshirt Sophomore, Guard, 8.7 ppg
Tania Davis, Senior, Guard, 9.7 ppg
Hannah Stewart, Senior, Forward, 7.3 ppg
Amanda Ollinger, Junior, Forward, 3.0 ppg
Paula Valino Ramos, Sophomore, Forward/Center, 1.4 ppg  
Key New Players
Tomi Taiwo, Freshman, Guard
Kate Martin, Freshman, Guard
Logan Cook, Freshman, Forward
Monika Czinano, Freshman, Forward/Center
Megan Gustafson is one of the top candidates for National Player of the Year heading into this upcoming season. Gustafson averaged 25.7 points per game along with 12.3 rebounds and shot 80.6 percent from the foul line. The backcourt is deep with Kathleen Doyle, Makenzie Meyer, and Alexis Sevillian combining to average just over 30 points per game between the three of them last season. One point of emphasis for Iowa will be to reduce the number of turnovers per game by about three or fou, which in turn will help them get north of 80 points per game on offense. West Virginia and defending national champion Notre Dame highlight the non-conference portion of the schedule for the Hawkeyes. The Big Ten schedule is balanced with a home and home against Nebraska and Michigan. There are also solo games at Ohio State and Minnesota along with a home game against Maryland. If Iowa can go 4-3 or better in those seven games, then they will be in great shape in the Big Ten championship race. Overall, look for the Hawkeyes to win around 25 games this season and with the right NCAA Tournament draw should get to the Sweet 16.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 78.7 (20th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.9 (264, 10)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.9 (5,1)
Field-Goal Defense: 37.5 (50, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.4 (205,11)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.3 (56, 7)
Free-Throw Percentage: 77.1 (12, 1)
Rebound Margin: 6.6 (33, 3)
Assists Per Game: 21.4 (3, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 16.2 (211, 12)
Madness 2019 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#15 Megan Gustafson