April 5, 2019
For Immediate Release
Contact: Joe Mitch
Gustafson to be formally honored in St. Louis
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TAMPA, Fla. (USBWA) The U.S. Basketball Writers Association announced the winners of its three major women's awards Friday at the site of this weekend's Final Four. The honorees include the nation's scoring leader, the coach of the top-ranked and top-seeded NCAA Tournament team and a freshman sensation off the All-Southeastern Conference team.

Megan Gustafson of Iowa is the winner of the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award as the National Player of the Year. Kim Mulkey of Baylor earned the National Coach of the Year Award, and Rhyne Howard of Kentucky is the National Freshman of the Year, based on voting by the USBWA membership. USBWA representative Mel Greenberg made the presentations.

Gustafson will be formally presented with the award at the USBWA College Basketball Awards Dinner at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis on Monday, April 15. The USBWA has named a National Player of the Year since the 1987-88 season and the award was named for Meyers Drysdale, four-time All-American at UCLA from 1975-78, in 2012. Public tickets for the dinner are on sale at thecollegebasketballawards.eventbrite.com.

Gustafson is the first player from the Big Ten Conference to win the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award and one of the most decorated players in its history. She finished her career in the Elite 8 last week with 2,804 points and 1,460 rebounds. The Port Wing, Wis., product led the nation in scoring at 27.8 points per game and was a first-team member of the USBWA All-America Team announced last week.

She became just the fourth NCAA women's basketball player and the first post player to score 1,000 or more points in a single season and also led the nation this season in total points (1,001), field goal percentage (69.6), field goals made (412) and double-doubles (33). One of two unanimous picks to the All-Big Ten first team, she also ranked second nationally in defensive rebounds per game (11) and third in rebounds per game (13.4) and total rebounds (481).

This is the third time for Mulkey to win the USBWA's National Coach of the Year Award and her first since winning it in back-to-back seasons in 2010-11 and 2011-12. She is the only coach from the Big 12 Conference to have won the award. Mulkey currently has the Lady Bears on the nation's longest winning streak at 26 games entering Saturday's Final Four game against Oregon in pursuit of her third national title. Baylor has now been to 14 Sweet 16's, including 11 straight following its 10th regular-season and 10th Big 12 Tournament championships this season. She is 574-99 in her career, an .853 career winning percentage that is second among active NCAA coaches and third all-time.

Howard was recognized as the SEC's Freshman of the Year this season and was the USBWA's Freshman of the Week on Dec. 26, the first Kentucky player to earn the honor. The 6-2 guard from Cleveland, Tenn., racked up eight conference Freshman of the Week awards this season to set an SEC record. Howard was the only freshman in the nation with at least 500 points, 70 three-pointers, 75 assists and 65 steals and was third nationally among freshmen in points per game (16.4). She is only the second freshman in program history to lead the Wildcats in scoring and rebounding (6.6 per game) while also ranking second with 68 steals and 74 three-pointers made. She scored in double figures in 26 games with 20 or more points in 10 games with five double-doubles to become the sixth SEC player to earn this honor from the USBWA.

Other awards previously announced but also recognized at the press conference were the Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award going to David Six, head coach at Hampton, and the Mary Jo Haverback Award being given to Nora Lynn Finch of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. Today, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.

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All-time USBWA women's honors

1988 Sue Wicks, Rutgers
1989 Clarissa Davis, Texas
1990 Jennifer Azzi, Stanford
1991 Dawn Staley, Virginia
1992 Dawn Staley, Virginia
1993 Sheryl Swoopes, Texas Tech
1994 Lisa Leslie, USC
1995 Rebecca Lobo, Connecticut
1996 Saudia Roundtree, Georgia
1997 Kate Starbird, Stanford
1998 Chamique Holdsclaw, Tennessee
1999 Chamique Holdsclaw, Tennessee
2000 Tamika Catchings, Tennessee
2001 Ruth Riley, Notre Dame
2002 Sue Bird, Connecticut
2003 Diana Taurasi, Connecticut
2004 Alana Beard, Duke
2005 Seimone Augustus, LSU
2006 Ivory Latta, North Carolina
2007 Candace Parker, Tennessee
2008 Candace Parker, Tennessee
2009 Maya Moore, Connecticut
2010 Tina Charles, Connecticut
2011 Maya Moore, Connecticut
2012 Brittney Griner, Baylor
2013 Brittney Griner, Baylor
2014 Breanna Stewart, Connecticut
2015 Breanna Stewart, Connecticut
2016 Breanna Stewart, Connecticut
2017 Kelsey Plum, Washington
2018 A'ja Wilson, South Carolina
2019 Megan Gustafson, Iowa
The award was named in honor of Ann Meyers Drysdale in 2012