LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 6: Angel Reese #10 of the LSU Lady Tigers is seen during the game against the Colorado Buffaloes in the Naismith Hall of Fame Series at T-Mobile Arena on November 6, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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Angel Reese Addresses LSU Absence After Virginia Tech Win

After her four-game, two-week absence that captured the curiosity of college basketball fans across the country, Angel Reese returned to her LSU squad on Thursday in emphatic fashion — then stood on business with the press afterwards. 

In her first game back, Reese finished #7 ranked LSU's 82-64 win over #9 ranked Virginia Tech on Thursday with 19 points, nine rebounds, and two assists. Once the game ended, Reese took the stand on front of reporters and began her postgame press conference by asking a question: "How happy are y'all to see me? I know y'all are. Here we go. Let's have some fun here"

Once the ice was broken with that question, Reese went on to discuss her absence, saying, "It was a long two weeks to be away from the team. I'm just happy to be back and this place was amazing tonight." 

While we still don't (and probably never will) know exactly why Angel Reese missed those four games — as the only explanation LSU has offered thus far has been vague "locker room issues" — Reese alluded to mental health being a main factor in her absence. 

"My mental health is the most important thing before anything, and I'm going to make sure I'm OK before anything because I don't want to cause anything, harm, or any cancer in the locker room," Reese said. "... I'm back and I'm happy and I'm here and I'm moving forward and I'm going to help take this team as far as I can."

Fair enough. 

Reese's head coach Kim Mulkey also spoke during Thursday's press conference, saying that she was, "Just proud of how [Reese] handled herself, proud she's back to the Angel everybody knows. ... There's nothing but positive things about what happened on that floor."

Yet, that wasn't the most heart-warming mention during LSU's postgame presser. That is owed to Shaq; who, in Reese's words, checked in on her every day during her absence from the team. 

"He told me every day, like, 'This, too, shall pass,'" Reese said of Shaq, who is a former LSU Tiger and who signed Reese to a major endorsement deal with Reebok earlier this year. "Just being able to have somebody like that was something that was really good for me. He told me when I was right. He told me when I was wrong. He told me what I needed to do to get back to where I am."

Although we'll never know what it was that needed to pass, we're ultimately just glad to see Reese back in action. 

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