Angel Reese has not played for LSU basketball since the first half of the Tigers’ Nov. 14 game against Kent State.
Head coach Kim Mulkey has provided few details on Reese’s four-game absence, so questions have continued to swirl around the star senior, namely: Where is she? And why isn’t she with the team?
Just Women’s Sports lays out the complete timeline and breaks down what we do know.
Reese played 14 minutes in the first half of the Tigers’ 109-79 win over Kent State. But she did not play at all in the second half due to what Mulkey called a “coach’s decision.”
Not much thought was given to Reese’s limited minutes at the time, especially considering the team’s opponent and margin of victory. But soon after the game, drama began to stir up on social media, starting with a spat between the mothers of Reese and sophomore Flau’jae Johnson.
Reese, who last season set the NCAA single-season record for double-doubles, missed the team’s next game against Southeastern Louisiana, three days after she was benched against Kent State. Mulkey wouldn’t give a reason for her absence, only saying that she hoped Reese would rejoin the team soon.
“Angel was not in uniform,” Mulkey said. “Angel is a part of this basketball team, and we hope she’s back with the team soon. I’m not going to answer any more than that.”
Reese broke her silence on Nov. 19, writing on social media: “Please don’t believe everything you read.”
LSU sailed to a dominant 106-47 win against Texas Southern but did so without Reese, who missed her second consecutive game. After the victory, Mulkey once again answered – and evaded – questions.
Throughout Reese’s absence, Mulkey has stressed that her silence is in an effort to protect her players. She did also give a little more insight into what the absence may be about, alluding to “locker room issues.”
“You always have to deal with locker room issues,” Mulkey 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 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.”
Along with Reese’s absence, junior Kateri Poole missed her first of three consecutive games. Poole also missed the Kent State game, and she played just five minutes against Southeastern Louisiana.
The Tigers faced Niagara and Virginia in the Cayman Islands Classic. But Reese and Poole were absent from both victories over Thanksgiving weekend, as both reportedly did not make the trip.
A team spokesperson declined to comment on the players’ absences Friday, according to ESPN. Following the team’s Friday win over Niagara, Mulkey reiterated earlier comments about Reese, saying: “We hope she’s back sooner than later.”
Next up, the No. 7 Tigers are set to play No. 9 Virginia Tech at 9 p.m. ET Thursday. Reese’s status for the game remains unknown.