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Angel Reese sits out LSU game after benching amid messy situation in Baton Rouge

November 18th, 2023

There was a conspicuously empty seat on the LSU bench on Friday, which only raised the volume on questions about what is happening with Angel Reese.

Last season’s NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player was nowhere to be seen during the Tigers’ game against Southeastern Louisiana. No explanation was given for the absence before the game, and LSU head coach Kim Mulkey declined to give one after, per The Advocate’s Reed Darcey

“Angel was not in uniform. Angel is a part of this basketball team, and we hope she’s back with the team soon. I’m not gonna answer any more than that.”

Reese’s absence came three days after she was benched in the second half of a win against Kent State. When asked why she sat Reese and senior guard Kateri Poole, Mulkey again declined to provide any detail.

“I could, but I won’t,” Mulkey said. “It was just a coach’s decision.”

That benching kicked off some very public in-fighting for the LSU program.

It’s never a good sign when the players’ parents are feuding on social media. Reese’s mother Angel Webb Reese posted a weirdly pointed message about grammar, sans punctuation, to her Instagram story on Wednesday, writing:

“Folks pls do not sent me long text msgs with a bunch of grammatical errors it gives me a headache [facepalm emoji] how do I know you said what you said if I can’t understand what you’re saying [facepalm emoji] [cry-laughing emoji]”

The apparent target of that message was Kia Brooks, mother of LSU sophomore Flau’jae Johnson, who appeared to respond with a lengthy IG story of her own that, among other things, claimed Reese had a “2.0 or less GPA,” accused the elder Reese of being “petty, fake and hateful and urged her to take responsibility for her and her daughter’s actions.

Players on last year’s championship team also got into it, with Alexa Morris posting a series of cryptic tweets early Thursday morning in which she appeared to take Mulkey’s side:

Jasmine Carson reportedly added “y’all better hope I don’t say nothing” in a tweet that is not currently available, again confirming something is happening behind the scenes.

None of this smacks of a program in a particularly stable place, which is wild to see given that every player and coach above were celebrating a breakthrough national championship only months ago. Reese in particular saw her star rise, seeing widespread coverage over her interaction with Caitlin Clark, a Sports Illustrated swimsuit spread, some White House drama and an appearance in a Cardi B music video.

Nov 6, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; LSU Lady Tigers forward Angel Reese (10) dribbles against the Colorado Buffaloes during the first quarter at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Something is happening with Angel Reese and LSU. (Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports) (USA TODAY USPW / reuters)

Reese entered this season as one of the top players in the country and a potential top pick in the 2024 WNBA draft. Mulkey even praised her focus on the upcoming season despite so many offseason distractions a couple months ago, but it seems something has changed in the time since.

LSU has seen on-court turbulence as well, losing its season opener to Colorado. The Tigers currently sit at No. 7 in the AP Poll.

This content was originally sourced and posted at Yahoo! Sports – News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games »
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