(Photo credit: SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network / USA TODAY NETWORK)
Angel Reese did not travel with No. 7 LSU for the Tigers' 73-50 victory at Southeastern Louisiana on Friday night.
Tigers coach Kim Mulkey didn't shed much light regarding Reese's absence in her postgame press conference.
"You want me to explain why?" Mulkey said. "It's very obvious Angel was not in uniform. Angel is a part of this basketball team and we hope to see her sooner rather than later."
When asked if it was her decision or Reese's decision, Mulkey interrupted the question.
"I'm not going to answer any more," she said. "That's it. That's all y'all need to know."
Mulkey benched Reese for the second half of LSU's win over Kent State on Tuesday. Without Reese on the floor, LSU went from a 39-37 halftime lead to a 109-79 win, with freshman Mikaylah Williams going off for 42 points.
Afterward, Mulkey called the benching a coach's decision.
The defending national champions have encountered some turmoil early in the 2023-24 season. LSU lost to Colorado 92-78 on opening night, with Mulkey criticizing her players' toughness after the game.
"I'm disappointed and surprised in some individual players that I thought would just be tougher and have a little fight and leadership about them," Mulkey said.
On Thursday, the outlet Just Women's Sports detailed social media posts by the mothers of Reese and LSU player Flau'jae Johnson, in which Johnson's mother claimed Angel Reese "got a 2.0 or less GPA," and added, "take responsibility for you and your daughter's actions."
LSU defeated Iowa in last April's national championship game for the program's first title in women's basketball. Reese led the Tigers with averages of 23 points and 15.4 rebounds per game.
In four games to start the new season, Reese has averaged 17 points and 10.3 rebounds in just 22.3 minutes per contest.
--Field Level Media