Social media drama swirled around the LSU basketball team Thursday, with former Tigers and current WNBA players stirring the pot.

The kerfuffle started with posts by the mothers of Angel Reese and Flau’jae Johnson, each seemingly directed at the other. Reese’s mother Angel Webb Reese complained about text messages with grammatical errors on Instagram Stories, and then Johnson’s mother Kia Brooks called out mother and daughter in her own post.

“You definitely know about grammar errors when your daughter got a 2.0 or less GPA. … Stop being petty, fake and hateful, and take responsibility for you and your daughter’s actions,” Brooks wrote.

While neither Reese nor Johnson addressed the posts on their own social media platforms, former teammates Alexis Morris and Jasmine Carson jumped into the fray.

All four players won the national championship with LSU in April. Morris and Carson now are playing overseas, while Reese and Johnson are still with the Tigers, whose title defense got off to a rocky start.

“Switched up to gang up on me, now y’all fallin’ out,” wrote Morris, who got herself into hot water on social media earlier this year after calling out WNBA veterans.

In another post, she wrote: “Can we just all get (along)? Heck no that’s over with.”

Morris also stood up for LSU head coach Kim Mulkey, writing: “You can’t pay me to bash Kim!”

“Y’all better hope I don’t say nothing,” Carson wrote.

WNBA players also got in on the action, with Las Vegas Aces guard Sydney Colson writing: “I wanna see LSU play LSU cuz what’s goin onnn??”

Washington Mystics center Shakira Austin tried to offer advice, writing: “Listen I’m ALL for speaking your truth, if everybody told their story we all know 75% of coaches would not have a job. But don’t let no quick attention cause any harm to your brand. The best thing is to focus on what’s next bc these folks still gonna get contract extensions…”

Alexis Morris is headed overseas.

Ilkem Yapi Tarsus of the Turkish women’s Super League has signed the former LSU women’s basketball star and WNBA draft pick to a contract. Morris announced the news via Instagram.

Morris thanked the team, then wrote: “INTERNATIONAL. LUTHOR TAKES ON TURKEY!!”

Ilkem Yapi Tarsus is set to compete in the highest league in Turkish women’s basketball  for the first time after winning the second-tier league last season.

A second-round draft pick in the 2023 WNBA draft by the Connecticut Sun, Morris made headlines after being cut from the roster during training camp. Following her release, Morris made comments about WNBA players over the age of 35 needing to retire in order to make room for younger players in a series of now-deleted tweets.

“The vets gotta know when to cut the net, and pass the torch bro,” she wrote. “If you knocking at 35, hang it up and I mean WIRED HANGER ‘Hang it up.’”

Previously, Morris had spoken about the difficulties of transitioning to the WNBA.

Her tweets caused a stir on social media, with many WNBA veterans pointing out how they had their own long and winding roads in the league. A small number of rookies are playing in the league this season, including Aliyah Boston and Diamond Miller. Just 15 of 36 draft picks made opening-day rosters.

Morris won a national title with LSU last season, averaging 15.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.8 steals per game.

The 2023 WNBA season is underway, but rosters will continue to change as teams address injuries and absences.

As teams do their best to balance their lineups, Just Women’s Sports will be tracking who’s in and who’s out.

July 17 — Los Angeles Sparks cut Destanni Henderson

The Sparks terminated guard Destanni Henderson’s hardship contract on Sunday to make room for Layshia Clarendon, who was activated off of injured reserve.

Henderson had been with the team since June 16 after Clarendon suffered a foot injury. In 10 games, including one start, she averaged 5.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in 16.9 minutes per game. The former South Carolina star earned her team’s praise after she helped L.A. overcome a 17-point deficit to defeat the Dallas Wings on June 24 with 18 points.

“Henny has proven that (she belongs in this league),” said Sparks guard Jordin Canada. “Tonight just showed that she’s very capable of being in this league and we’re very grateful to have her here.”

Henderson was previously waived in training camp by the Indiana Fever, who selected her 20th overall in the 2022 WNBA draft.

Before her injury, Clarendon had started in six games for the Sparks, averaging 7.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists.

July 4 — Mystics flip Amanda Zahui B. for Queen Egbo

The Washington Mystics acquired former first-round draft pick Queen Egbo from the Indiana Fever on Tuesday in exchange for Amanda Zahui B.

“(We had) an opportunity to get a young player on a young player contract who has talent and has some particular skills that we are looking for,” Mystics general manager Mike Thibault told The Washington Post. “She’s an elite rebounder, a good shot blocker. We see an upside.”

The trade also helps offset the absence of Shakira Austin, who is out for at least three weeks with a hip injury. The No. 10 overall pick in the 2022 draft, Egbo has averaged 5.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and one block through 49 games.

The trade for Zahui B., who is on a one-year deal, frees up future cap space for Indiana. Without Egbo, the Fever have nine players under contract for the 2024 season — and now they have room for two maximum contracts next year.

Elsewhere, the Dream waived Taylor Mikesell and activated Iliana Rupert; the Sky waived Kristine Anigwe and activated Ruthy Hebard; the Wings waived Ashley Joens and Jasmine Dickey; the Mercury released Alaina Coates; and the Storm waived Arella Guirantes and signed Gabby Williams.

June 30 — A’ja Wilson signs extension with Aces

Reigning WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson has signed a two-year extension with the Las Vegas Aces, the team announced. She would have been a free agent after the 2023 season.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft, Wilson won Rookie of the Year in her first season, then won MVP in 2020 and 2022. She helped lead the franchise to its first WNBA championship last season.

Four of the Aces’ five starters — Wilson, Kelsey Plum, Jackie Young and Chelsea Gray — are now under contract for the 2024 season. The team is off to a 14-1 start, with Wilson averaging 19.4 points and a team-leading 9.0 rebounds.

“When the Aces made me their first-ever draft pick, they entrusted me with a lot,” Wilson said in a news release. “I’m happy to still be in Las Vegas, winning games, playing at a high level, but also being a part of a community that has embraced me and my teammates over the past six years, and made this city a second home for me.”

June 20 — Mystics re-sign Abby Meyers to hardship contract

First-round draft pick Abby Meyers has signed with the Washington Mystics on a hardship contract.

The Dallas Wings selected the Maryland guard with the No. 11 overall pick but waived her before the start of the season. She shot 38.8% from the 3-point line in her final collegiate season, helping the Terrapins to the Elite Eight.

Meyers’ signing comes as Mystics guard Li Meng leaves to compete for China in the Asia Cup through early July. The team will also be without veteran guard Kristi Toliver for two weeks with a foot injury.

June 16 — Sparks sign Destanni Henderson

The Los Angeles Sparks picked up former South Carolina star Destanni Henderson on an emergency hardship contract.

The No. 20 overall pick in the 2022 draft, Henderson was waived by the Indiana Fever before the start of the season. She played 36 games for the Fever in 2022, averaging 5.3 points, 2.5 assists and 1.6 rebounds. She joins former Gamecocks teammate Zia Cooke in Los Angeles.

June 14 — Emily Engstler signs with Lynx

Emily Engstler has signed a hardship contract with the Minnesota Lynx, the team announced.

The No. 4 overall pick in the 2022 WNBA Draft, Engstler was waived by the Fever in April before signing with the Washington Mystics. In two preseason games with Washington, Engstler had 15 points, 12 rebounds and one block, but she was waived before the start of the season.

June 9 — Taylor Soule signs with Sky

Rookie forward Taylor Soule signed a rest-of-season hardship contract with the Chicago Sky. The Minnesota Lynx had drafted the Virginia Tech product in the third round of the 2023 draft but waived her before the start of the season.

Soule averaged 12.8 points and 5.9 rebounds in five seasons with the Hokies, and she helped lead the team to the Final Four in her final season.

Also this week, Odyssey Sims signed a rest-of-season hardship contract with the Dallas Wings, while Kaila Charles was waived by the Seattle Storm and Bernadett Hatar was waived by the Indiana Fever.

June 6 — Karlie Samuelson re-signs with Sparks

Just one day after releasing Karlie Samuelson, the Los Angeles Sparks re-signed the 6-0 guard to a rest-of-season hardship contract.

Samuelson made the Sparks’ roster to start the season, helping to fill the hole left by her sister Katie Lou Samuelson, who is missing the season due to pregnancy, and by Jasmine Thomas, who is rehabbing from an ACL tear she sustained last May. Samuelson is averaging 9.8 points and 2.6 rebounds in five games this season.

The Sparks also activated center Azurá Stevens, who has been recovering from a back injury, and released forward Joyner Holmes.


June 5 — Taylor Mikesell signs with Dream

The Atlanta Dream signed Taylor Mikesell, the team announced Monday. The No. 13 overall pick in the 2023 WNBA Draft, she was waived by the Indiana Fever during training camp.

The signing comes after the Dream waived Lorela Cubaj due to her EuroBasket commitments.

Mikesell brings shooting depth to a Dream team currently averaging 34.8% from 3-point range, which is sixth overall in the league. The Ohio State standout shot 42% from deep in her college career.

May 30 — Marine Johannès rejoins Liberty, Kalani Brown signs with Wings

Marine Johannès has rejoined the New York Liberty after winning the French league title with AVSEL. As Johannès had played just two WNBA seasons entering 2023, the prioritization rule — which requires WNBA players to return to the U.S. league by the start of the season — did not play to her.

The 28-year-old guard averaged 10.0 points and 3.4 assists in 25.5 minutes per game for the Liberty in 2022.

Meanwhile, Kalani Brown returned to the Dallas Wings on a hardship contract. The Wings had waived the 2019 first-round pick ahead of the season opener but brought her back as they deal with long-term knee injuries to Lou Lopez Sénéchal and Diamond DeShields.

May 22 — Gabby Williams remains in limbo for Seattle

Restricted free agent Gabby Williams remains undecided about her plans for the 2023 WNBA season, her agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas told ESPN’s M.A. Voepel.

“The 2023 WNBA season is an option for Gabby, but not a certainty,” Kagawa Colas said. “For now, she’s prioritizing her health while taking into account her French national team commitments this summer. From there, we can start to evaluate availability for the WNBA, but as of today we are still a couple of steps away.”

Williams’ status has been up in the air as a result of the league’s new prioritization rule, which requires players to complete their offseason obligations before the start of the WNBA season. Williams had been playing for ASVEL in the French league, but she had her contract suspended to meet the prioritization deadline.

While the decision left Williams unable to play in the final two games of the championship series, which ended in a title for ASVEL, it kept open the possibility of a return to Seattle for the 2023 season.

Still, under the prioritization rule, Williams would be subject to a fine of one percent of her 2023 salary for each day of training camp that she missed if she does sign with the Storm.

“We are in constant communication with Gabby,” Storm head coach Noelle Quinn said. “We know that she didn’t play. Just kind of staying well aware of the situation. Obviously her health is the most important right now.”

Williams was a starter for Seattle last season, averaging 7.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists.

May 18 — WNBA teams set opening day rosters

WNBA teams made their final cuts ahead of opening day.

Of the 36 college stars drafted in April, just 15 appear on rosters to start the season, including two third-round selections in the Indiana Fever’s Victaria Saxon and the Phoenix Mercury’s Kadi Sissoko.

Notable rookie free agents include No. 11 pick Abby Meyers, who was cut by the Dallas Wings, and No. 22 pick Alexis Morris, who made waves with her reaction to the lack of available roster spots.

May 17 — Charli Collier, Kalani Brown waived by Wings

The Dallas Wings waived former No. 1 overall pick Charli Collier on Wednesday morning as well as 2019 first-round pick Kalani Brown.

Collier played two seasons in Dallas, averaging 2.9 points and 2.5 rebounds per game, and she was named to the All-Rookie team in 2021.

The Wings also announced that 2023 first-round pick Lou Lopez Sénéchal is set to undergo knee surgery and will be out six to eight weeks, while Diamond DeShields will miss “extended time this season” as she deals with a knee injury.

May 16 — Monika Czinano waived by Sparks, two former South Carolina stars cut

The Los Angeles Sparks cut Iowa standout Monika Czinano. Czinano was selected in the third round of the draft with the No. 26 overall pick.

With her exit, all three draftees who participated in the 2023 national title game – Czinano, Alexis Morris, and LaDazhia Williams – have been waived by their WNBA teams.

Elsewhere, two former South Carolina stars were waived by their teams, Brea Beal by the Minnesota Lynx and Destanni Henderson by the Indiana Fever.

Beal was drafted with the No. 24 overall pick this year. While she did not score in 10 minutes in the Lynx’s loss to Chicago in the preseason WNBA Canada Game, she did record a rebound, an assist and a steal.

Henderson, a second-round pick in 2022, played 36 games for the Fever last season, averaging 5.3 points, 2.5 assists and 1.6 rebounds.

The New York Liberty also made a number of cuts, with Sika Koné, Morgan Green, Stephanie Mawuli and DiDi Richards all being waived. The former NCAA champion had been a staple member of the Liberty the last two years, averaging 4.3 points and 1.3 rebounds.

The Connecticut Sun waived a trio of players — Caitlin Bickle, Nia Clouden and Jayla Everett — in addition to acquiring Leigha Brown from the Atlanta Dream, while Seattle waived Jasmine Walker.

May 15 — Dallas Wings cut first-round pick Abby Meyers

The No. 11 overall pick in the 2023 draft, Abby Meyers was cut by the Dallas Wings before the start of the regular season. She played just one minute in Saturday’s preseason loss to Indiana and scored no points.

Meyers played collegiately at both Princeton and Maryland before becoming one of the Wings’ two first-round picks, along with Villanova’s Maddy Siegrist. The Wings also acquired first-round selection Lou Lopez-Sénéchal from the Washington Mystics, and Lopez-Sénéchal and Siegrist remain with Dallas.

The Wings’ roster sits at 14 players, so two more will have to be cut before Thursday’s roster deadline to reach the 12-player maximum.

Alexis Peterson was waived by the Las Vegas Aces. The former 15th overall pick of the 2017 draft, Peterson has played primarily overseas.

Also on Monday, the New York Liberty signed Sabrina Ionescu to a two-year contract extension through the 2025 season.

May 14 — Washington Mystics waive Elena Tsineke

A number of teams announced roster cuts on Sunday, with the Mystics waiving both Stephanie Jones and Elena Tsineke. Tsineke was drafted 20th overall by the team in the draft, and reportedly had been impressing in camp.

“[Tsineke] has come out and, I know that she was a scorer at USF, but to see [her] implemented into the professional game already. Like she’s ready and that’s exciting to see,” Natasha Cloud told NBC Sports. “She’s just a dog like she’s gonna yell at everyone, she’s gonna be up guarding at halfcourt waiting for you.”

Cloud has been vocal about the WNBA needing to expand after tough roster cuts.

The Minnesota Lynx also announced cuts on Sunday, with Maya Dodson and Myah Selland both being waived by the team. Additionally, Angel Baker was waived by the Chicago Sky.

May 13 — WNBA vets Reshanda Gray, Crystal Bradford waived by Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Sparks announced that the team had waived Crystal Bradford and Reshanda Gray. Gray has played in the WNBA for six seasons, spending time with Minnesota, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Phoenix. Bradford has played two seasons in the league (2015 in Los Angeles, 2021 in Atlanta).

Also on Sunday, the Phoenix Mercury announced the team had waived rookie Liz Dixon and second-year vet Destiny Slocum, while the Washington Mystics cut Stephanie Jones and Elena Tsineke.

May 10 — LSU’s Alexis Morris cut by Connecticut

The Connecticut Sun waived a trio of rookies on Wednesday — draftees Alexis Morris and Ashten Prechtel and undrafted free agent Diamond Battles.

LSU national champion point guard Morris announced her exit just hours after she played in a preseason game for the Sun, tweeting: “Welp I just got waived. Thank you Sun nation.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, 23 of 36 picks from the 2023 draft appeared on rosters, and almost every team still has cuts left to make to fit under the 12-player maximum.

May 9 — Evina Westbrook picked up by Mercury

The Phoenix Mercury have signed Evina Westbrook to a training camp contract, claiming her off waivers after she was cut by the Washington Mystics.

Meanwhile, the Connecticut Sun exercised DiJonai Carrington’s fourth-year option, guaranteeing her salary in 2024. She took to Twitter to celebrate the extension, writing “GOD IS BIG.”

Elsewhere, the Las Vegas Aces made a trio of cuts, waiving Brittany Davis, Courtney Range and Aisha Sheppard.

May 7 — Mystics waive Evina Westbrook

Former UConn and Tennessee guard Evina Westbrook was waived by the Mystics as one of two roster cuts.

Westbrook played 14 games for Minnesota and six for Washington last season, averaging 2.8 points and 1.2 assists per game. During the Mystics’ preseason game, she had seven points and three rebounds through 26 minutes.

Also waived was Alisia Jenkins. A former standout at South Florida, Jenkins last played in the league in 2020, bouncing around from Indiana, to Chicago then Phoenix on 7-day contracts. Jenkins had four points and three fouls through 10 minutes of preseason play.

The Mystics’ roster now sits at 15, meaning they’ll need to cut three more players to reach the league-maximum 12-player roster size.

May 5 — A trio of teams make roster cuts

The Atlanta Dream cut Mikayla Pivec and Alaina Coates. Coates, a former second-overall pick in the 2017 draft, has bounced around the league since getting drafted. She spent last season with Indiana, averaging 3.5 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.

The Sun, meanwhile, waived Victoria Macaulay, while the Phoenix Mercury waived Destiny Harden. Harden was the 27th overall pick in the 2023 draft after playing collegiately at Miami. She averaged a career-high 11.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game last season.

May 3 — Fever waive former college star Rennia Davis

The Indiana Fever waived former first-round draft pick Rennia Davis three days into WNBA training camp.

Davis, a four-year starter at Tennessee, was the ninth overall pick of the Minnesota Lynx in the 2021 WNBA draft. She missed her entire rookie season after undergoing surgery to repair a stress fracture in her left foot.

In 2022, the Lynx waived Davis from their training camp roster after she recorded a double-double in their second preseason game. Davis returned to the Lynx on a hardship contract and played in one game before she was again released on May 12. The 6-foot-2 guard/forward signed with Indiana on July 15 and played in seven games to close out the season, averaging 5.7 minutes per game.

May 3 — Connecticut slims down roster with cuts

The Sun waived Kiara Smith, Khaalia Hillsman and Mikiah Herbert Harrigan.

Herbert Harrigan is a former South Carolina standout who was drafted sixth overall in the 2020 WNBA draft by the Minnesota Lynx. After one season in Minnesota, she spent the 2021 season with the Seattle Storm. Since 2022, she’s been a member of the WBBL’s London Lions.

Smith, meanwhile, was drafted 36th overall by the Sun in 2022, but sat out last season due to injury.

May 1 — Mystics sign Emily Engstler to training camp contract

One day after WNBA training camp began, the Washington Mystics have signed Emily Engstler. The deal comes just five days after the Fever released the former No. 4 overall pick from the 2022 draft.

Engstler averaged 5.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.1 blocks per game, scoring in double figures four times. Her 181 total rebounds for the season were the fifth-most recorded by a Fever rookie in franchise history. The Louisville grad also joined Destanni Henderson and Victoria Vivians as the only players in franchise history to play more than 34 games in a regular season.

April 30 — Sun sign Diamond Battles to rookie scale contract, waive Lasha Petree

The Sun signed former Georgia Bulldog leading scorer Diamond Battles to a rookie-scale contract. At the same time, they waived Lasha Petree.

Petree is a former Purdue Boilermaker who also played at Rutgers and Bradley. She averaged 13.9 points per game in her college career.

April 27 — Mercury waive former first-round pick Sydney Wiese

With three days until WNBA training camps open, the Phoenix Mercury waived former 11th overall pick Sydney Wiese.

Drafted in 2017 by the Los Angeles Sparks, Wiese played three seasons in L.A. before she was traded to the Washington Mystics in 2021. In four seasons with the Sparks, she averaged 3.9 points and 1.1 rebounds, including a career-high 6.8 points and 1.7 rebounds per game in 2020.

Wiese played one season in Washington, suffering a knee injury last March. Phoenix signed the guard to a training camp contract in February.

Also on Thursday, the Connecticut Sun signed Lasha Petree to a rookie scale contract. The guard led Purdue in scoring this past season with 14.7 points per game on 42.7 percent shooting from the field.

April 26 — Fever waive 2022 fourth overall pick Emily Engstler

The Indiana Fever released second-year forward Emily Engstler. The fourth overall pick in the 2022 WNBA draft, she played 35 games as a rookie for the Fever last season, starting in six of them.

Engstler’s 40 blocked shots in 2022 were tied for the team high and were four shy of tying Tamika Catchings’ rookie franchise record.

This marks the third consecutive season in which the Fever have waived a top draft pick. The team waived 2021 No. 4 pick Kysre Gondrezick last season and 2020 No. 3 pick Lauren Cox in the previous season.

April 24 — Aces waive rookie Elizabeth Balogun

Elizabeth Balogun is on the market after being waived by the Las Vegas Aces.

Balogun had inked a training camp contract with the Aces after going undrafted out of Duke. A 2023 Cheryl Miller Small Forward of the Year Preseason and Midseason Top-10 watch list candidate, she played in all 33 games, starting in 27 of them, for the Blue Devils during the 2022-23 season.

Through two seasons with Duke, Balogun averaged 9.3 points and 4.8 rebounds. Last season she was second on the team in scoring (10.2 points) and led the team in rebounding (5.2 rebounds).

She also was a member of the Nigerian Olympic Team at the Tokyo Games in 2021.

April 12 — Astou Ndour-Fall opts out of 2023 season

Even though Astou Ndour-Fall signed a one-year contract with the Sky in February, the Spanish national team center is opting out of the 2023 WNBA season. Ndour-Fall’s Italian season and the report date to Chicago factored into the decision, as did her international schedule this summer, the Chicago Sun-Times’ Annie Costabile reported.

This year’s FIBA EuroBasket tournament is set to take place from June 15-25, right in the middle of the WNBA season. Her absence is likely a result of the new prioritization clause that is being implemented starting this season. 

Without Ndour-Fall, the team’s roster includes Marina Mabrey, Isabelle Harrison and Kahleah Copper as veterans.

DeWanna Bonner looked great for a player of any age as the 35-year-old drained 41 points Thursday for the Connecticut Sun.

And after Bonner set the franchise single-game scoring record, teammate DiJonai Carrington made sure everyone knew it. In a tweet highlighting Bonner’s accomplishment, Carrington made a pointed reference to Sun draftee Alexis Morris’ tweets calling on WNBA veterans to “hang it up.”

Stunningly efficient shooting — 16-of-23 from the field, and 5-of-7 from 3-point range — helped Bonner achieve the scoring record in 32 minutes in the Sun’s 90-84 win against the previously undefeated Las Vegas Aces.

“To score 41 points here, I just love the organization so much,” Bonner said of scoring 41 points in front of a home crowd at Mohegan Sun Arena. “It’s changed my life.

“That locker room is probably one of the closest teams that I’ve been on in a very long time. When we come to work every day, we actually enjoy being around each other.”

The love from her teammates poured in after the win, in postgame interviews and on social media.

“Hang it up???” Carrington tweeted. “Yeaaaahhh aightttttt.”

Carrington’s post calls back to a series of tweets from Morris, a 2023 second-round draft pick of the Sun who was cut from the team before the start of the season.

The 5-9 guard, who helped lead LSU to the 2023 NCAA championship, criticized WNBA veterans for remaining in the league too long and taking up roster spots in the since-deleted posts. She argued that if roster spots cannot be made available to the rookies, then teams should “cut the vets.” Just 15 of this year’s 36 draftees made opening day rosters.

“The vets gotta know when to cut the net, and pass the torch bro,” she wrote. “If you knocking at 35, hang it up and I mean WIRED HANGER ‘Hang it up.’”

Morris later apologized for her tweets, writing in an Instagram caption: “To the veterans of the WNBA, please accept my sincerest apologies. I never thought joining the W family would be easy, but now I understand just how hard it is to do that.

“My energy would have been better served directed toward league executives who have a say in expansion and other logistics. I look forward to celebrating your individual and collective careers and giving you all the flowers you deserve.”

Former LSU basketball star Alexis Morris apologized for her criticism of WNBA veterans, which included calling on players over the age of 35 to retire.

The 5-9 guard was selected in the 2023 draft by the Connecticut Sun but was waived by the team on May 10. A week later, as teams cut even more rookies before the start of the regular season, Morris took to Twitter to criticize older WNBA players for remaining in the league too long and taking up roster spots.

Morris, who won the 2023 NCAA title with LSU, argued in since-deleted tweets that if roster spots cannot be made available to the rookies then teams should “cut the vets.” Just 15 of this year’s 36 draftees made opening day rosters.

“The vets gotta know when to cut the net, and pass the torch bro,” she wrote. “If you knocking at 35, hang it up and I mean WIRED HANGER ‘Hang it up.’”

The rookie’s comments received swift backlash from WNBA players, which prompted Morris to apologize Thursday in an Instagram caption.

“To the veterans of the WNBA, please accept my sincerest apologies,” Morris wrote. “I never thought joining the W family would be easy, but now I understand just how hard it is to do that.

“My energy would have been better served directed toward league executives who have a say in expansion and other logistics. I look forward to celebrating your individual and collective careers and giving you all the flowers you deserve. I hope you can empathize and find it in your hearts to forgive me. I will continue to work hard in hopes of joining you all one day soon.”

Amid the WNBA’s roster crunch, Washington Mystics guard Natasha Cloud and others have called on the league to expand roster sizes or the number of teams to accommodate more players. The 12-team league caps rosters at 12 players, which means a maximum of 144 roster spots are available each season.

Morris apologized to WNBA fans as well, asking for forgiveness for herself and for support for the league as it grapples with its roster size dilemma.

“I ask for your forgiveness and support as I attempt to raise more awareness about some of the issues the league is facing,” she wrote. “It needs your support now more than ever. While I’m one of many to be affected by recent cuts, I understand that the issue is bigger than me.”

Just 15 of 36 drafted players appear on WNBA opening day rosters to start the 2023 season. With 144 roster spots available among the 12 teams, a number of college stars were waived before the season began.

Here are five of the most notable rookie free agents, and how they can find themselves in the WNBA in the future.

Abby Meyers, No. 11 pick

The Dallas Wings surprised everyone when they opted to take Meyers with the 11th pick on draft night. The guard wasn’t projected to be a first round pick in mock drafts, and while the Wings clearly saw something in Meyers, it wasn’t enough to land her a roster spot.

Meyers shot 38.8% from the 3-point line in her final collegiate season, and the Wings were in search of shooters. Another big strength is her basketball IQ – Meyers transferred to Maryland from Ivy League powerhouse Princeton.

Fit criteria: If Meyers winds up on a roster, expect it to be a team that needs a backup guard or a shooting lift.

Taylor Mikesell, No. 13 pick

The Indiana Fever kept three of their five draft picks on roster: Aliyah Boston, Grace Berger and Victaria Saxton. While Mikesell, an Ohio State product, was waived on May 17, the guard likely was an attractive prospect for the Fever because of her shooting abilities.

Mikesell made her mark in college as one of the top 3-point shooters in the country. The 5-11 guard was the best pure shooter in the draft, knocking down 41.4% of her attempts as a senior.

Fit criteria: Mikesell can play spot minutes for a team with dominant bigs that needs shooters to space the floor.

Alexis Morris, No. 22 pick

Morris wasn’t on a lot of draft boards until the NCAA Tournament, when her play helped LSU win its first national title. Her 21 points and 9 assists in the championship game over Iowa showed that Morris can perform well under pressure. But after being drafted by the Connecticut Sun, Morris was waived after one preseason game.

Morris is undersized at 5-6, but her ability to score in the midrange helps the LSU product combat the height disadvantage. She is also a good decision maker who can spearhead an offense.

Fit criteria: Any team that finds itself thin at the point guard or shooting guard spot due to injuries may target Morris. Her size is a concern for defense, but she can hold her own on offense.

Brea Beal, No. 24 pick

The Minnesota Lynx kept Diamond Miller (No. 2 pick) and Dorka Juhász (No. 16 pick), but South Carolina’s Beal was waived on May 16. Beal was a key piece for the Gamecocks on their championship team in 2022 and a four-year starter. She’s experienced competing at the highest level college basketball has to offer.

Defense is Beal’s strength, and she often found herself tasked with guarding the opposing team’s best offensive player. At 6-1 with length and strength, she could be called on to do the same in the WNBA

Fit criteria: Beal’s offense is a work in progress – she was a dominant scorer in high school but wasn’t called on to do the same in college – so the team that picks her up will likely have a plethora of scorers. But anyone who needs defense, particularly an on-ball defender, should look to Beal. (Just ask Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley.)

Monika Czinano, No. 26 pick

Czinano more than held her own for Iowa, but basketball is changing at the WNBA level. Traditional bigs, unless they have size like the 6-7 Brittney Griner, are going away. Czinano doesn’t have a versatile skill set, which is why she didn’t go until the third round to the Los Angeles Sparks.

Still, the 6-3 post possesses toughness and efficiency around the rim – she made 67.1% of her attempts during a five-year college career.

Fit criteria: Czinano won’t be a primary option in the WNBA, but she can be a backup post on the right team. If she’s picked up, it will likely be with a team that has bigs who can stretch the floor, allowing Czinano to play off them in the paint.

Other draftees who were waived:

  • LaDazhia Williams (No. 17 pick, LSU)
  • Madi Williams (No. 18 pick, Oklahoma)
  • Elena Tsineke (No. 20 pick, South Florida)
  • Kayana Traylor (No. 23 pick, Virginia Tech)
  • Destiny Harden (No. 27 pick, Miami)
  • Taylor Soule (No. 28, Virginia Tech)
  • Jade Loville (No. 33 pick, Arizona)
  • Ashten Prechtel (No. 34 pick, Stanford)
  • Brittany Davis (No. 36 pick, Alabama)

Former LSU basketball star Alexis Morris was met with backlash Wednesday after she took to Twitter to criticize WNBA veterans for remaining in the league too long and taking up roster spots.

The 5-9 guard was selected in the 2023 draft by the Connecticut Sun but was waived by the team last week, adding her name to the long list of roster cuts this preseason.

In a series of now-deleted tweets, Morris – who previously had spoken about the difficulties of transitioning to the WNBA – argued that if roster spots cannot be made available to the rookies then teams should “cut the vets.” But she also put some of that blame onto the veterans themselves.

“The vets gotta know when to cut the net, and pass the torch bro,” she wrote. “If you knocking at 35, hang it up and I mean WIRED HANGER ‘Hang it up.'”

Morris’ tweets caused a stir on social media, with WNBA veterans pointing to their own long and winding roads in the league.

“It’s clear people don’t understand how much we respect people’s journeys and the grind,” Los Angeles Sparks guard Lexie Brown wrote

As Minnesota Lynx guard Kayla McBride noted, rookies should be aware that everyone around them is “on their own journey too,” even if McBride doesn’t usually talk about her own.

“Don’t speak on someone else to make yourself feel better,” she wrote. “We all got stories. Just go write yours.”

McBride also noted in a later tweet that she isn’t “coming for anyone personally” and that the Lynx rookies, a group that includes No. 2 overall pick Diamond Miller, have been “great.”

“As a whole the WNBA (is) fighting for respect and each of our stories look different. And should be respected,” she wrote. “Respect the grind. Respect those around you. It’ll get you a long, long way.”

A number of the league’s rookies have been cut from WNBA rosters already, with just 18 out of 36 draftees remaining on WNBA rosters as of Thursday morning. That number could diminish as teams finalize rosters.

With just 144 roster spots available, many players have been calling for expansion in order to help with both development of players and the league.

Sydney Colson has been cut multiple times but currently is a member of the Las Vegas Aces. On Wednesday, she noted a shift in the league compared to a few seasons ago, when more veterans had been cut to save cap space.

“The interesting part is that several vets (who were still capable players) didn’t make rosters years ago because of cap space and it was cheaper to keep rookies,” she wrote. “As someone who’s been cut several, and I mean SEVERAL, times… it’s tough and not a great feeling, but it doesn’t mean it has to be the end of your career. Grind, have a chip on your shoulder, and work to get back.”

Still, other players pointed out the lack of support that rookies receive. Former WNBA player and No. 3 overall pick Devereaux Peters noted that her first four years in the league “were absolute hell” but she was able to figure it out.

“I was blessed with vets that went out of their way to help me gain my footing,” she wrote. “But also a great deal was me operating in a way I wouldn’t have preferred. But I think a lot of these younger players in general don’t really understand how this league works and we should be helping them too. Because not everyone has players to reach out to, to help them along.”

LSU star Alexis Morris was waived by the Connecticut Sun just hours after playing in the team’s preseason win Wednesday against the New York Liberty.

With Morris’ exit, both LSU players selected in the 2023 WNBA Draft have been cut by their teams, as rookies across the league feel the roster crunch. LaDazhia Williams, Morris’ teammate with the national champion Tigers, was waived Tuesday by the Indiana Fever.

“Welp I just got waived. Thank you Sun nation,” Morris tweeted Wednesday afternoon.

The point guard contributed two points and three rebounds in eight minutes for the Sun on Wednesday. As she heads to the waiver wire, she told her supporters not to express any sympathy.

“Don’t call me or text me on no sad behavior, it’s up!!!!” she wrote. “It’s too much cheese and oppurtunities out here to be sad. Im the COMEBACK KID! I will be back.”

Last season, just 17 of the 36 picks from the 2022 WNBA Draft made opening day rosters.

This season is headed in a similar direction. As of Wednesday afternoon, 23 of 36 picks from the 2023 draft appeared on rosters, and almost every team still has cuts left to make to fit under the 12-player maximum.

Not every player who does not appear on a roster has been waived. For example, Washington Mystics draftee Txell Alarcon and Minnesota Lynx draftee Maia Hirsch are both draft-and-stash picks who will remain in Europe for at least the upcoming season.

Still, the fact remains: With just 144 spots across 12 teams, roster space is at a premium in the WNBA, and the issue may not be rectified any time soon.

Morris even spoke about a related issue — the adjustments required of college players when they make the jump to the WNBA — in a TikTok after her first day of group workouts with the Sun.

“This is for the colleges and the institutions: in order to grow the league, you have to prep the players for what’s to come. In order to do that, you have to watch the league, you have to see the style of play, the systems that they’re running, so that the adjustment and the transition for college players — women’s college players — to the WNBA won’t be so difficult,” she said.

Less than a month ago, Alexis Morris helped LSU win its first ever women’s basketball title. Now, the WNBA rookie is calling on college teams to better prepare athletes for the pro game.

Morris, who was drafted by the Connecticut Sun as the No. 22 overall pick, took to TikTok after her first day of group workouts with the Sun.

“This is for the colleges and the institutions: in order to grow the league, you have to prep the players for what’s to come. In order to do that, you have to watch the league, you have to see the style of play, the systems that they’re running, so that the adjustment and the transition for college players — women’s college players — to the WNBA won’t be so difficult.

“I’m not saying that it’s difficult for everybody. But I do think that the style of play that you play in college can either help or hurt you when you’re transitioning to college.”

Morris has more college experience than most. The Texas native started her college career at Baylor (playing for Kim Mulkey), but was dismissed from the team after a reported arrest. She transferred to Rutgers (where C. Vivian Stringer was head coach), but had to sit out a year due to the NCAA’s then transfer rules. She then made the move to Texas A&M for one year before concluding her college career by playing two seasons at LSU (where Mulkey had been hired as head coach). In her video, she didn’t specify how her own college experience prepared her for the WNBA.

Morris is one of 20 players on Connecticut’s preseason training roster. A max of 12 athletes will make the team, but that number could be as low as 11 depending on when the team’s salary cap is hit.

Morris isn’t the first person to suggest college players need better preparation for the WNBA. After the 2022 WNBA Draft, then Connecticut Sun head coach Curt Miller — who has since been hired by the Los Angeles Sparks — said of the 30 prospects he spoke to prior to draft night, 80% either didn’t follow the WNBA or follow it closely.

More recently, Kelsey Plum announced that she was partnering with Under Armour to launch “DawgClass,” a three-day camp for top women’s college basketball guards with the goal of helping ease the transition between NCAA competition and the WNBA.

“The women’s game has such a massive gap in the transition from college to pro, unlike any other professional sport,” Plum told Just Women’s Sports.

“You’re just kind of thrown into the fire and you’re on your way, it’s like sink or swim.”

@luthorrrrr First day as a #connecticutsun ! Here’s my take away from my personal experiences! #fyp #beapromovement #fyp #womensbasketball ♬ original sound - Alexis Morris

LSU cut down the nets at the end of March Madness, but the games also gave us smaller, individual victories as players improved their WNBA draft stock throughout the NCAA Tournament.

As WNBA teams prepare to make their selections Monday night in New York City, here are four players who could move up the draft board thanks to their tournament performances.

Alexis Morris, PG, LSU

The biggest knock on Morris’ game is that she is undersized at 5-foot-6. But in March, the point guard led her team to a national championship and proved she can match up with bigger guards along the way.

“She played well throughout the tournament, and at times she carried LSU,” Atlanta Dream coach Tanisha Wright said on a pre-draft media call Thursday. Wright’s Dream have two picks in the first round Monday night, including the No. 6 selection.

“She is somebody who got significantly better throughout the season.”

Morris stepped up when LSU needed her most, finishing with 15 points, seven assists and four rebounds to help the Tigers escape Utah in the Sweet 16. She then scored 27 points against Virginia Tech in the Final Four, and finished with 21 points and nine assists as LSU topped Iowa in the championship game.

Another stat that WNBA coaches and executives will love: Morris had a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio throughout the tournament. She’s a reliable decision-maker who excels in the midrange after she beats defenders off the dribble.

Zia Cooke, G, South Carolina

Playing for a team as stacked as South Carolina was this season, it can be hard to excel, but Cooke managed the feat throughout her career and particularly during the Gamecocks’ March Madness run this year. She finished with 18 points and eight rebounds to help the Gamecocks advance past Maryland in the Elite Eight.

In a disappointing loss to Iowa in the Final Four, Cooke kept her team in the game, finishing with 24 points and eight rebounds. Iowa packed the paint and made it difficult for the South Carolina guards to attack, but Cooke was able to navigate the defense, a feat that didn’t go unnoticed by WNBA coaches and executives.

“In the last month and a half, she really showed up for them and progressed through the tournament as well,” Wright said.

Jordan Horston, G, Tennessee

Horston was already an attractive prospect to WNBA teams because of her build. At 6-2, the guard is long and athletic, making her an asset on both ends of the floor. Tennessee clearly felt her absence due to injury during last year’s NCAA Tournament, and this time around, her importance to the Vols was on full display.

She led Tennessee to a Sweet 16 with three complete performances. In the first round, Horston had 21 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals. She followed that up with 10 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals against Toledo, in a game where she only logged 18 minutes. Horston was solid once more during Tennessee’s Sweet 16 loss to Virginia Tech, registering 17 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals.

(Eakin Howard/Getty Images)

While she’ll need to clean up her turnovers, after averaging 4.5 per game this season and committing seven in the Sweet 16, Horston’s ability to impact the game in multiple ways is a good sign for her future in a league that values versatility.

“She demonstrated that she will be a really great fit for whatever team drafts her,” said Dallas Wings president Greg Bibb.

Monika Czinano, F, Iowa

Iowa’s fifth-year post player doesn’t necessarily fit today’s mold of a WNBA player. There is less room for traditional, back-to-the-basket post players as the WNBA moves toward positionless basketball, but Czinano has the potential to make an impact because her specialized skills are elite. She doesn’t do a little bit of everything, but she excels at her strengths.

“I’m a big Monika fan,” said Indiana Fever GM Lin Dunn. “She has no fear, she’s physical, strong, and high energy. The only thing for Monika is she needs to get selected by the right team.”

Czinano was one of the most efficient players in college basketball this season, shooting 67.4 percent from the field. She maintained that efficiency against top competition, including when matched up against 6-5 Aliyah Boston and 6-7 Kamilla Cardoso from South Carolina. Czinano had 18 points in their Final Four matchup, going 6-for-8 from the field and 6-for-6 from the free-throw line.

Eden Laase is a Staff Writer at Just Women’s Sports. Follow her on Twitter @eden_laase.