The 2023-24 season has gotten off to a shaky start for Angel Reese, the reigning All-American double-double queen who lead LSU to its inaugural women’s basketball championship in March.
Reese, who was benched four games into the season, was absent for the entire Friday, November 17 contest in which No. 5 LSU defeated Southeastern Louisiana 73-50. Concerns arose regarding whether or not Reese would perform on Monday evening. Reese instead failed to attend her second consecutive game.
The Associated Press reported on Thursday that Reese was not observed with the team prior to the Tigers’ Friday-beginning tournament in the Cayman Islands.
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According to the Associated Press, LSU women’s basketball spokesman Grant Kauvar declined to elucidate on Reese’s absence and stated that the institution is deferring to coach Kim Mulkey.
“Angel did not wear a uniform.” “She is a member of this basketball team,” Mulkey said on Monday night, following the Tigers’ 106-47 victory over Texas Southern. “We anticipate her quickly rejoining the team.” “I will not elaborate further than that.”
As to why Angel Reese was benched.
It began on November 6, when Colorado drilled LSU, the preseason No. 1 team in the country, in its first contest of the season. A game in which the Tigers were defeated 92-78 was not nearly as close as the final score suggests. Reese recorded a total of 12 rebounds and 15 points, but her 6-of-15 field goal percentage limited her to numerous close opportunities. Her frustration was evident for the duration of the contest.
LSU coach Kim Mulkey substituted Reese for the second half of the Tigers’ 109-79 victory over Kent State on November 14, three games later. In thirteen minutes of action that evening, Reese scored eleven points. Mulkey provided little insight thereafter, stating only that Reese’s absence in the second half was “the coach’s decision.”
Three days later, on November 17, speculation regarding Reese’s absence intensified when he was absent during the 73-50 victory over Southeastern Louisiana. Without her being on the sideline. Once more, Mulkey declined to provide any information regarding Reese.
“It is abundantly clear that Angel was not wearing a uniform,” Mulkey stated at the press conference following the contest. “Angel is a member of this basketball team, and we eagerly await her return… I will no longer provide an answer at this time. Such is it. “Okay, that’s everything you need to know.”
What precisely is occurring remains uncertain. Mulkey has not provided any information regarding whether Reese was simply benched or officially suspended, disciplined for an offense, or injured.
What has Angel Reese to say regarding his benching?
Reese has refrained from addressing the media during the course of this ordeal. She published the following enigmatic message on X, the former Twitter-like social media platform: “Please do not believe everything you read.”
Reese has not updated her Instagram grid since October 24th. However, late on Sunday evening, she uploaded a video of Colorado head coach Deion Sanders to her Instagram stories. Sanders states in the video, “Look at me. What characteristics of mine would lead you to believe that I value your opinion of me? The assessment that you hold regarding me differs from my own. You cannot destroy me because you did not create me. You cannot destroy me because you did not construct me.
“Because I was established by God, there is nothing that can be done to me.” I have been that individual, a game-changer, and a difference-maker. What then would be altered? Absolutely nothing. Even though I am not participating in the game, you have an opinion of me. Although I adore it, I could care less. And I wish that was how the world operated. Young people, if you are currently in the world, should not be bothered by the opinions of others so long as they do not align with your own. You should remain true to yourself. Simply put, I am not playing to improve your self-esteem. I feel positive about myself already. I am fine. “Messenger intended for the younger generation and the old school, not the old fools.”
Mom drama, social media, and Angel Reese
Some have pointed to an apparent rift on social media between Reese’s mother, also named Angel Reese, and the parents of other LSU players as conjecture has surrounded her future status. While several social media comments have been removed, a recent video from the LSU student television station provided a detailed account of the drama.
What is the identity of Angel Reese?
Reese, who stands 6-foot-3 and possesses extraordinary athleticism, is among the top women’s college basketball competitors. Prior to the 2022–23 season, Reese transferred from Maryland, where he had spent two seasons. She earned Final Four Most Outstanding Player honors and led the Tigers to the 2023 national championship by averaging a double-double (23 ppg, 15.4 rpg) over the course of the season. She is a gregarious, unabashedly confident trash talker who is well-known and (at times) celebrated.
NIL starlet Reese is affectionately referred to as “The Bayou Barbie,” a reference to her penchant for all things feminine and pink. In addition to numerous other endorsements, she appeared in the annual swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated and signed a contract with Reebok, the brand that former LSU basketball sensation Shaquille O’Neal represents.
Her mother is a former UMBC basketball player, and her sibling Julian is a Maryland basketball player.
What does LSU have in store next?
The Cayman Islands are visited by LSU during Thanksgiving. The Tigers’ first contest against Niagara is scheduled for Friday, November 24. On Saturday, November 25th, they will travel to Virginia, one of the only Power Five institutions on their schedule.
Thursday, the Associated Press reported that Reese was not observed with the team prior to the opening match of the tournament. On Friday, Reese did not make his Tigers debut against Niagara.
“You will know when she returns,” Mulkey said of Reese after the latter defeated Niagara. “Obviously she’s not with us.”
On Thursday, November 30, LSU will play its most significant non-conference contest against No. 9 Virginia Tech, another 2023 Final Four participant.
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