Hailey Van Lith is reportedly on her way to TCU, says Talia Goodman of The Next Hoops.

The former Louisville star joined LSU for the 2023-24 season, but a disappointing run in Baton Rouge saw her enter the transfer portal once again at the season’s end. Van Lith opted to use her fifth year of eligibility versus declaring for the WNBA draft.

Van Lith was admittedly less effective as a Tiger. Her field goal percentage decreased from .411 in 2022-23 with Louisville to .388 at LSU. She also went from averaging 19.7 points per game to just 11.6, due in part to a change of position from shooting guard to more of a point guard role.

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At an end-of-season banquet last week, LSU coach Kim Mulkey used her speech to wish Van Lith well, calling her "one of the hardest working players that I’ve ever coached."

"Her aspirations were to get drafted this year," Mulkey said, according to NOLA.com. "And she realized, 'I need another year, and I need to go back to a place where I can relax and get back to my normal position.'

"And what do you do? You hug her, and you wish her well."

The decision to commit to TCU may come as a surprise after Van Lith paid a visit to Mississippi State last weekend. The Horned Frogs finished out the 2023-24 season 21-12 overall, coming in 9th in the Big 12 and scoring an average of 69.5 points per game. The program also made headlines in January when they held mid-season open tryouts in response to an onslaught of sidelining injuries.

Angel Reese grew up in Baltimore playing basketball on boys’ teams, doing what she had to do to stand out.

Now, as a 21-year-old and one of the biggest stars in college basketball, she returns to her old stomping grounds to play against Coppin State.

Reese’s Charm City homecoming will be the first time a historically Black college or university has ever hosted the incumbent NCAA championship team. Reese and the LSU Tigers will be bringing a sold-out crowd with them to PEC Arena.

“The demand for tickets has been endless,” Coppin State athletic director Derek Carter said. “The last couple of weeks I’ve been reminded of a lot of friends that I, honestly, had forgotten about.”

Reese is eligible for the 2024 WNBA draft — and with a name as big as hers, it’s likely she’ll enter and be drafted high. Seventh-ranked LSU wanted a homecoming game for Reese before she leaves the NCAA, and the HBCU in Baltimore is an ideal location. 

“Someone on the LSU staff called me and she told me LSU wanted to bring Angel home, and would we be interested,” Eagles coach Jermaine Woods told Andscape. “It’s not every day you get a chance to get an All-American, a national championship team and a Hall of Fame coach to come to your building.” 

The last time Coppin State hosted a team as highly ranked as LSU came in 2021, when Reese played there wearing different clothes — her former team, the Maryland Terrapins, were ranked sixth when Reese last appeared at PEC Arena. She drew a crowd then, too. 

The Tigers already have been upset once this season, by another ranked team in Colorado. Coppin State could be the next tick in the loss column for LSU. 

But beside the chance to play and beat a highly skilled opposing team, hosting the Tigers at their home arena presents a rare opportunity for the Eagles. Bringing such a high-profile player to their home city affords the team visibility and a lot of money from ticket sales. 

“My list has 45 names, and people are still calling me because everybody wants to see LSU and Angel Reese,” Woods said. “LSU could have taken this game to anywhere in the area — Towson, Loyola, Morgan, UMBC. But they chose Coppin, in the heart of West Baltimore.

“It’s an amazing opportunity, and it’s great that we’re bringing this big spotlight to Coppin State University.”

LSU basketball star Angel Reese had to hold head coach Kim Mulkey back from referees during Sunday’s 81-36 win against Northwestern State.

Despite Reese’s effors, Mulkey ended up receiving a double technical foul and her first ejection in her three seasons at LSU. Mulkey took issue with a charging foul called on forward Aneesah Morrow with 4:56 left to play.

“I’ve been tossed before,” Mulkey said. “It was time.”

Referee Timothy Greene awarded the coach with the technical fouls. After the game, she admitted to goading Greene into ejecting her.

“I think I helped him,” she said. “I said, ‘I’m not leaving, so you’d better toss me.'”

Mulkey was so fired up that Reese had to hold her back, which the forward laughed about afterward. Mulkey also thought it was funny, with Reese even calling for her son, former LSU baseball player Kramer Robertson, to come and help her.

“It was fun,” Reese said. “We both have similar personalities and we really like to win no matter the score. Of course she’s gonna fight for us and we all fight for her so, that moment was fun. We know she has our back and we have her back.”

LSU basketball came up big Tuesday night in a historic 133-44 win over McNeese State.

The Tigers set program records for points in a game and margin of victory. Their previous scoring record stood at 125, set in November of last year in a win over Bellarmine. The previous margin of victory record was much older, with the Tigers eclipsing a 76-point win over Prairie View in 1995.

In the win, LSU showcased its defensive skills, forcing 36 turnovers, which turned into 52 points. In the second quarter, the Tigers shut out the Cowgirls entirely, part of a stretch of 13:36 in which they held their opponents scoreless.

In that time, LSU went on a 47-0 run.

“I told them at half, I don’t know if I’ve even been part of that,” LSU head coach Kim Mulkey said. “And a run like that you don’t think about it in the moment. I don’t care who you’re playing. That’s crazy.”

LSU had 20 steals, led by Angel Reese who had six. Flau’jae Johnson had five while freshman Mikaylah Williams had four. Reese added 21 points and 10 rebounds, while freshman Aalyah Del Rosario led the team in scoring with 27 points and 10 rebounds. Aneesah Morrow had 18 points, while Williams had 26.

After missing 10 of their first 13 shots, the Tigers quickly turned their game around – even without Hailey Van Lith, who is out with a foot injury. Still, if you ask Mulkey, the defense is “still catching up” after dealing with player absences. (Reese recently missed four games for undisclosed reasons, and Sa’Myah Smith suffered a season-ending knee injury.)

“You don’t have Angel, then you don’t have Hailey and you don’t have Sa’Myah. So that sets you back temporarily until you can get back on that floor and prepare every day without them,” Mulkey said. “I think when Hailey gets back and if you can keep everybody healthy, I think you’ll start to see some good stuff out there.

“I’m not saying you’re not seeing good stuff now. I see improvement. But I’ll say it again, we can score the ball with a lot of people. But you got to defend and you got to rebound if you want to win championships.”

Still, allowing just 44 points in a game showcases a team’s defensive abilities – regardless of which opponent is on the other side of the stat sheet.

“Their defensive pressure got to us,” McNeese head coach Lynn Kennedy said. “We just didn’t handle it well. LSU caught fire. The fast break really opened it up for them, they [made] some transition shots and that got them going.”

For Del Rosario, the performance serves as an indicator of what she can bring to the Tigers from the bench as the season continues.

“It changed my perspective of the game,” she said. “I knew I was going to have to step up, play big-time minutes on the court and take advantage of the minutes. When I came here, I was not in the best of shape. Now, I feel like I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been.”

Kateri Poole is no longer with the LSU basketball team, head coach Kim Mulkey said Sunday.

Poole, a 5-foot-8 junior guard, won the 2023 national championship with LSU, but she played in four games this season for the No. 7 Tigers. Her last game came on Nov. 17 against Southeastern Louisiana, in which she played just five minutes. Before that, on Nov. 14, she did not play against Kent State due to a “coach’s decision.”

She last appeared on LSU’s bench against Texas Southern on Nov. 20, although she did not play.

“She’s no longer with us,” Mulkey told reporters Sunday following the team’s 83-53 win over Louisiana. Mulkey had been asked about a timetable for Poole’s return.

“Depth, anytime you lose any player for any reason, your depth becomes smaller. But I still think we have plenty,” Mulkey continued when asked about the team losing players. The team lost Sa’Myah Smith due to a season-ending knee injury in late November, while Hailey Van Lith is out while dealing with plantar fasciitis.

Mulkey did not give any further information on Poole’s departure, and would not comment on if it resulted from a dismissal or a mutual parting of ways.

Poole’s absence comes after LSU star forward Angel Reese missed four games in November for undisclosed reasons. Mulkey attributed Reese’s absence to “locker room issues” and would not give any further details.

On Sunday, Reese showed support for Poole via Instagram, writing: “Forever my dawg! I love you & 10 behind you!”

Poole also posted on Instagram, writing “(T)hank you tiger nation” with a photo of the national championship trophy on her Instagram Stories.

The junior was a member of LSU’s national title-winning team in 2023 after spending the first two years of her career at Ohio State. She appeared in 35 games last season, averaging 4.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.5 steals per game.

Angel Reese’s basketball superstardom earned her a lot of attention during her four-game absence from No. 7 LSU’s lineup. 

Her celebrity has also secured her a multi-year NIL deal with Reebok. Shaquille O’Neal is the new president of basketball for the brand, as well as a mentor of Reese’s, and he’s been helping Reese throughout her absence.

“I talked to Shaq every day. We FaceTimed, he called, he checked on me every single day to make sure I was good,” Reese said. “He told me every day, ‘This too shall pass.’ He’s been here before and he knows what it takes.”

Reese made a triumphant return to the court for the Tigers in Thursday’s 82-64 win against Virginia Tech. After the game, she did not go into any detail about the nature of her absence, continuing the precedent she and Tigers head coach Kim Mulkey set while she was gone. But some of the comments Reese made about speaking with Shaq may shed some light on the situation.

“Being able to have somebody like that was something that was really good for me. He told me when I was right, when I was wrong and told me what I needed to do to get back. And I know he’s probably going to call me after this game,” Reese said. 

Reese recorded 19 points and 9 rebounds against the Hokies. After the game, she shouted out her support system — likely including Shaq — for getting her through the intense scrutiny she endured during her time away from the team. Before Thursday, she had last played on Nov. 14.

“I want people to realize that I’m not just an athlete, I’m a human. I go through things, we all go through things. Being able to have so many people that are super supportive to me over this past week-and-a-half really showed me a lot and who really cares for me,” Reese said.

“When you’re up, everybody loves you. And when you’re down is when you see who really loves you. Being able to have such supportive people for me here through a tough time for me was really important.”

Head coach Kim Mulkey addressed the media on Wednesday over public responses to Angel Reese’s prolonged and mysterious absence from the LSU women’s basketball team.

Reese is set to return for No. 7 LSU’s matchup against No. 9 Virginia Tech on Thursday after a four-game absence.

The 2023 Final Four Most Outstanding Player last appeared on the court on Nov. 14. She played 14 minutes in LSU’s win over Kent State before being benched in the second half for what Mulkey called a “coach’s decision.” She then missed LSU’s next four games, and Mulkey provided few details on her absence outside of alluding to “locker room issues” on Nov. 20.

The lack of clarity surrounding Reese has led to widespread speculation about the LSU star’s whereabouts. Mulkey responded to the media’s handling of the situation during a press conference Wednesday.

“It is a wonderful, wonderful profession – ‘til I have to deal with y’all,” Mulkey, who is one win away from 700 in her career as a coach, joked to reporters.

“I don’t mind dealing with you,” she said, before addressing what she finds “aggravating” about the media. “All I ask as a coach is, if I don’t give you the answer you want, don’t attack me for that. Don’t attack and make it personal. Is that fair?

“Some of you take it to a personal level and I just don’t understand that. I would never attack any of you for writing a bad article about me if you didn’t think I made the right call. … That’s fair game. But to attack somebody on a personal level, am I wrong about that?”

Mulkey added that her reason for explaining Reese’s absence as she did was to “protect my players.” Junior guard Kateri Poole has also been absent from the team, and Mulkey has declined to say if or when she will return.

“For not answering the question the way you think I should answer it?” she said. “That’s not journalism in my book. Maybe I’m too old. Maybe I need to get out. But, you get realness with me … I can’t sugarcoat things. I feel like people want the truth, but I’m also going to do what? I’m going protect my players. I struggle with that.”

Reese led the Tigers to their first national championship last season, in Mulkey’s second year with the team. LSU (7-1) is looking to bounce back from a season-opening loss to Colorado and make a run at a second straight title.

Angel Reese will return to the lineup for LSU basketball after a four-game absence, head coach Kim Mulkey announced Wednesday.

The star senior last appeared on the court on Nov. 14. She 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.”

She missed LSU’s next four games. Mulkey provided few details on Reese’s absence, though she did allude to “locker room issues” on Nov. 20.

“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.”

Mulkey remained similarly tight-lipped even as she revealed Reese’s return. She declined to disclose how long she has been practicing with the team, only saying: “It doesn’t matter. Angel is back, and we are happy, happy, happy.”

Reese returns just in time for No. 7 LSU’s game against No. 9 Virginia Tech, which is set to tip off at 9 p.m. ET Thursday on ESPN. The Tigers beat the Hokies, 79-72, in the 2023 Final Four en route to their first title in program history.

Yet while LSU will have Reese, they will be without sophomore forward Sa’Myah Smith, who will miss the rest of the season with tears to the ACL, MCL and meniscus in her right knee. Junior guard Kateri Poole also remains out for the Tigers. Poole has missed three games in a row, though the reason for her absence has not been disclosed.

Senior guard Hailey Van Lith is available for the game, but she is dealing with a foot injury, Mulkey said. The injury is one Van Lith has had for several years, but she aggravated it in LSU’s win over Virginia on Nov. 25.

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.

Nov. 14: Reese benched against Kent State

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.

Nov. 17: Reese absent from bench against Southeastern Louisiana

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.”

Nov. 20: Kim Mulkey compares situation to ‘disciplining your children’

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.

Nov. 24: Reese did not travel to Cayman Islands Classic

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.

No.7 LSU topped Virginia at the Cayman Islands Classic, 76-73, with help from its transfers and younger players. 

With two starters out of their lineup — Angel Reese and Sa’Myah Smith — head coach Kim Mulkey and the Tigers had to look elsewhere for scoring production. And Aneesah Morrow delivered. 

Morrow knocked down 37 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in her biggest game at LSU yet. 

“That’s one of my prouder victories in all of my coaching career,” LSU head coach Kim Mulkey said to nola.com. “Under the circumstances this team has had to deal with, to win that game and have players playing out of position and ask them to do things that they’re not comfortable with, just a gutsy performance.”

The transfer from DePaul notched her second-consecutive double-double in a Tigers uniform after she collected 28 points and 10 rebounds against Niagara on Friday. Morrow is used to earning double-doubles — she only had 53 in her two seasons with DePaul.

Hailey Van Lith, a transfer from Louisville, also had a successful night for LSU. She was the only other Tiger to score in double-digits, scoring 12 points for her squad. 

“Aneesah and Hailey bring experience to our team right now,” Mulkey said to Tiger Rag. “They’re experience having played at the college level is helping us right now. What they don’t know about our system, they know about the toughness of the game at this level.”