Lauren Gustin wants to ‘finish what I started’ at BYU

The star player for the Cougars last season briefly entered the transfer portal less than a week ago.

(Photo courtesy of Madeline Mortensen | BYU Athletics) BYU forward Lauren Gustin put up her eighth double-double against Pepperdine on Feb. 4, scoring 27 points and bring down 20 rebounds.

She’s back.

BYU forward Lauren Gustin announced Friday on Instagram that she would return for another season with the Cougars women’s basketball team. She told The Salt Lake Tribune less than a week ago that she would enter the transfer portal to evaluate “some additional options” for her final year of college eligibility.

She also told The Tribune that her entering her name in the portal did not guarantee that she would leave BYU. Now she’ll join the Cougars next season as they enter the Big 12 Conference.

“BYU has a special place in my heart, and I’m excited to go to battle with my teammates and coaches as we enter the Big 12 next season,” Gustin’s Instagram message said in part.

Gustin returning is a big deal for the Cougars, who were an up-and-down team in Amber Whiting’s first season as head coach. Gustin was the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, and arguably the most consistent and reliable player throughout last season.

“We had some really good conversations and she deserved to look around,” Whiting told The Tribune. “I’m just so happy she is staying home. She is huge for our program and means so much to us.”

The 6-foot-1 Gustin averaged 16.1 points and 16.6 rebounds in more than 38 minutes per game in 2022-23. She was among the leaders in the country in double-doubles.

Gustin was named the West Coast Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year. She shared the accolade with Ayanna Khalfani from San Diego.