Monika Czinano searching for her own identity in replacing Megan Gustafson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - There may never be another player like Megan Gustafson and it's not fair to ask any player to become the next Megan Gustafson.

Going into this season, the Iowa women's basketball team does feel it has a player who can step into Gustafson's role in sophomore Monika Czinano. She was the backup to Gustafson last year and averaged five minutes a game as a true freshman.

"The team and the coaches have done a great job of putting no pressure," Czinano said. "They've been real supportive in knowing that I am my own person and Megan's her own person."

In Sunday's exhibition against Winona State, Czinano showed she's ready to be a starter shooting a perfect 13-for-13 from the field and finishing with a game-high 27 points.

As she searches for her own identity, she says she learned a lot from Gustafson last season, especially going up against her in practice every day.

"It was massively helpful to see her moves and compare them to mine, and try to weave them together while not copying," she said.

Iowa opens the season on Thursday at home versus Florida Atlantic.