Angel Reese and Kateri Poole are still missing for LSU basketball.
The No. 7 Tigers (6-1) won their first game of two games at the Cayman Islands Classic, sailing to a 99-65 win against Niagara on Friday. But neither Reese nor Poole played in the game, and neither appears to have made the trip to the tournament.
Since Reese was benched for the second half of LSU’s Nov. 14 game against Kent State, the star senior has missed the next three games. Poole has missed the most recent two games, and she played just five minutes in the Nov. 17 game against Southeastern Louisiana.
A team spokesperson declined to comment on the players’ absences Friday, ESPN reported. Head coach Kim Mulkey repeatedly has declined to comment on Reese’s absence in particular, though she did compare the situation to “disciplining your children” after Monday’s 106-47 win against Texas Southern.
“You always have to deal with locker room issues,” Mulkey said Monday. “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 it 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. They are more important. It’s like a family. If you do some disciplining of your own children, do you think we’re entitled to know that? That’s a family in that locker room.”
After Friday’s win, Mulkey simply reiterated an earlier statement, saying: “We hope she’s back sooner than later.”
Reese has averaged 17.0 points and 10.3 rebounds in four games. Poole, in a diminished role compared to last season, has averaged 2.0 points and 1.8 rebounds in four games.
On Sunday, Reese posted on social media, writing: “Please don’t believe everything you read.” The message seemingly was directed at online chatter surrounding her absence.
LSU’s lineup became further depleted during the win against Niagara, as Sa’Myah Smith went down with an apparent knee injury in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers next will face Virginia at 5 p.m. ET Saturday at the Cayman Islands Classic, and then will host No. 9 Virginia Tech at 9 p.m. ET Thursday.