Katie BarnesESPN.com2 minute read
BATON ROUGE, La. – For the second straight game, the LSU Tigers took the field Monday night without star forward Angel Reese, who led the Tigers to their first national title last season.
No specific reason was given for his absence from the No. 7 Tigers, who host Texas Southern.
The tension arose after the Tigers’ season opener, a 92-78 loss to then-No. 20 Colorado in Las Vegas. After the game, coach Kim Mulkey expressed disappointment but didn’t point fingers at anyone.
“I’m disappointed in some individual players who I thought would be tougher, have a bit of fighting spirit and leadership,” she said.
Reese was on the bench at halftime of the Tigers’ fourth game of the season, a 109-79 victory over Kent State. Mulkey called it a “coach’s decision.” Reese did not play at all in LSU’s 73-50 win over Southeastern Louisiana on November 17.
“Angel wasn’t in uniform,” Mulkey said after the game in Hammond, Louisiana. “Angel is on this basketball team and we hope to see her as soon as possible.”
Reese has not spoken publicly about his absence, but posted on X: “Please don’t believe everything you read.”
Reese transferred to LSU from Maryland ahead of the 2022-23 season, when she was named the NCAA Tournament MVP. This season, she is averaging 17.0 points and 10.3 rebounds in four games.
LSU added several high-profile transfers this offseason, including Aneesah Morrow and Hailey Van Lith. The Tigers also landed the No. 1 recruiting class. LSU returns to action Nov. 24 against Niagara in the Cayman Islands Classic.