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Kim Mulkey and LSU basketball return to court for first day of practice

Kim Mulkey led LSU to the 2023 NCAA tournament championship. (Grant Halverson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

LSU basketball returned to the court for its opening practice Tuesday as the Tigers look to defend their 2023 national championship.

Head coach Kim Mulkey led the program to its first-ever NCAA tournament title in just her second season at the helm. She did so with help from star transfer Angel Reese, and she picked up several more star transfers this offseason in Hailey Van Lith and Aneesah Morrow.

The team posted a video of the first practice on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, which included Mulkey getting right down to business for the 2023-24 season.

“We’re not waiting to get down there. If they’re ahead of the pack, lead them like a receiver in football,” she told her players, gesturing as if she was sending a pass up the court.

Last season, Mulkey received some criticism last season for LSU’s week out-of-conference schedule, but the Tigers proved the doubters wrong as they roared to the title. Reese defended the “cupcake” schedule after the team released its out-of-conference schedule for the upcoming season, though this year’s slate includes top 25 finishers in Virginia Tech and Colorado.

Reese received some joking criticism herself from assistant coach Gary Redus after the first practice. Redus ragged on the junior forward for not acknowledging his win against her in a 1-on-1 contest.

“Aye @Reese10Angel so no post about that L today????? And you was calling fouls. BUM!” he wrote on X. He also posted a photo of himself going up for a layup against Reese. She responded with a teasing jab of her own, as the team approaches its title defense with ample good humor.