The defending women's college basketball national champions are dealing with some type of issue involving one of the top players in the nation in Angel Reese, and their head coach says it's none of our business.
In a nutshell, that's what's known about the situation with Angel Reese and the LSU women's team.
Reese has missed the last 2.5 games for LSU, and coach Kim Mulkey has not given a reason why, saying that the general public isn't "entitled" to know.
A Timeline of the Angel Reese Situation
Reese was a unanimous first-team All-American and the Most Outstanding Player of the 2023 NCAA Tournament, setting Southeastern Conference single-season records for rebounds and double-doubles.
She returned to LSU this year to try to help the Tigers defend their title. After a shocking opening loss to Colorado, LSU has rolled since then, winning five straight by an average margin of 46 points.
More than half that time, however, they've been without their top player. Reese was benched for the second half of LSU's 109-79 win over Kent State on Nov. 14. Mulkey didn't divulge a reason way, calling the benching a "coach's decision."
Reese had 11 points and five rebounds in the game on 5-of-9 shooting from the field at the time she was benched. For the season, she's averaging 17 points and 10.3 rebounds.
Those averages are down from last season, but Reese has played limited minutes as Mulkey has cleared her bench for much of the second half during the string of blowouts.
One area on the stat sheet that may give a clue as to the genesis of the controversy is that Reese is 0-for-5 on 3-point attempts this season, including 0-for-3 against Mississippi Valley State, the last full game she played. The three attempts were a career high for Reese, who put up just six 3-pointers all of last season.
At the start of the Kent State game, Reese put up a 3-pointer that was well off the mark on LSU's second possession. The ball went out of bounds, and Mulkey pulled Reese out of the game, just 45 seconds in. She sat for the next 5½ minutes of game time before reentering late in the first quarter. Reese hasn't played since halftime of that game.
Three days later, LSU played a road game at Southeastern Louisiana, and Reese didn't make the trip with the team.
"You want me to explain why?" Mulkey asked rhetorically after the game. "It's very obvious Angel was not in uniform. Angel is a part of this basketball team, and we hope to see her sooner rather than later. I'm not gonna answer any more. That's it. That's all y'all need to know."
On Monday night, Reese sat out a second straight game, against Texas Southern, and Mulkey seemed to indicate it might be disciplinary, referring to "issues" in the locker room.
"You always have to deal with locker room issues," she said. "That's just part of coaching. In 40 years, I can never think of a time where I didn't have to deal with issues. That's what coaches do. Sometimes y'all know about them and sometimes you don't. Sometimes you want to know more than you're entitled to know. I'm going to protect my players. Always. If you do some disciplining of your own children, do you think we're entitled to know that?"
Mulkey again confirmed that Reese was still on the team.
"I'm going to give you the same answer. Angel was not in uniform tonight and Angel is a part of this basketball team," Mulkey said. "Angel will be back sooner than later."
Reese has not been available to the media, and the closest she came to addressing the matter on social media was a tweet on X where she advised, "Please don't believe everything you read."
The situation should get some clarity soon, as LSU will be leaving for a Thanksgiving tournament in the Cayman Islands, with their first game tipping off on Friday. It's not clear whether Reese will be making the trip with the Tigers.
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