With LSU star Angel Reese out of motion and little clarification from coach Kim Mulkey, the seventh-seeded Tigers are attracting undesirable scrutiny in the beginning of their nationwide title protection.
“You at all times should cope with locker room points,” Mulkey mentioned Monday evening after LSU beat Texas Southern 106-47 within the second straight sport that Reese missed for undisclosed causes.
“Generally you all learn about them. Generally you do not. Generally you need to know greater than you’ve gotten any proper to know,” Mulkey continued. “I’ll defend my gamers – at all times. They’re like household.”
The most recent drama, which incorporates not solely Reese’s absence, however crucial feedback by some gamers’ mother and father on social media, started shortly after a stunning season-opening loss to what on paper seems like a superlative LSU workforce.
On Monday evening, Reyes was solely seen throughout a pre-game promotional video produced earlier than the season, which options the participant sporting a crown. Reese additionally missed LSU’s earlier sport In southeastern Louisiana He was benched for a half in opposition to Kent State.
Mulkey’s reticence about Reese — some of the fashionable and commercially profitable athletes in all of ladies’s faculty sports activities — has introduced a public relations problem for LSU and opened up extra room for hypothesis than LSU may like. Nevertheless, from what Mulkey revealed, it doesn’t seem like a compliance challenge.
“I have been doing this for 40 years,” Mulkey continued. “You may deal with issues. These youngsters are like my youngsters and I am not going to let you know what you needn’t know, and that is the best way I deal with issues.”
Throughout a back-and-forth on Instagram, sophomore guard Flaw Jay Johnson’s mom, Kia Brooks, commented about Reese’s tutorial efficiency.
Reese’s mom, Angel Webb Reese, criticized Brooks’ grammar in a earlier submit, to which Brooks responded, “You positive learn about grammar errors when your daughter has a 2.0 grade level common or decrease… cease being so petty and faux.” And hateful, and take duty on your actions and the actions of your daughter.
Brooks’s particular reference to the common Reese rating has not been confirmed. Universities don’t launch transcripts with out acquiring permission from the coed in query, and Mulkey declined to touch upon the posts.
It will be extremely uncommon for a participant to start lacking video games for tutorial eligibility causes after the beginning of the basketball season, however earlier than the top of the autumn semester.
Reese, who has almost 378,000 followers on X, has been comparatively quiet on the platform, apart from one submit over the weekend stating: “Please do not imagine every thing you learn.”
When Reese sat out Friday evening’s 73-50 win over Southeastern, Mulkey mentioned, “Angel is part of this basketball workforce, and hopefully we’ll see her sooner moderately than later.”
Mulkey echoed that sentiment on Monday evening, however declined to say whether or not Rees would go together with the workforce to the Cayman Islands Traditional this weekend. Reese’s agent, Jeanine Ogbonnaya, didn’t instantly reply to a message left by The Related Press.
Coming off a nationwide title, and with Reese joined by high-profile transfers Hailey Van Lith and Anissa Morrow, together with five-star recruit Michaela Williams, LSU is arguably the primary superlative girls’s basketball workforce because the NCAA relaxed Switch and switch guidelines. It allowed gamers to retain newbie standing whereas incomes cash from their title, picture, and likeness.
“That is faculty. It is faculty athletics,” mentioned Mulkey, who has received 4 nationwide titles as a coach — three with Baylor — and two as a participant with Louisiana Tech. “It doesn’t matter what the NIL is, it doesn’t matter what they do within the execs, that is faculty.”
LSU entered the season ranked No. 1. But the loss to then No. 20 Colorado – Who since then It rose to number 3 – Dropped LSU out of the highest 5. LSU hasn’t misplaced since then, however they have not performed one other main convention workforce, and will not accomplish that till assembly Virginia on Saturday within the Cayman Islands.
Reese began LSU’s first 4 video games, averaging 17 factors and 10.3 rebounds because the Tigers took a 3-1 lead.
Nicknamed “Bayou Barbie,” Reese led LSU to its first nationwide title in girls’s basketball final season. She has additionally parlayed her recognition into a reputation, picture and likeness that’s estimated to be value over $1 million, making her one of many highest-paid faculty athletes.
Reese led the Southeastern Convention in each scoring (23 factors per sport) and rebounding (15.4 factors per sport) final season, turning into solely the fourth participant to guide the league in each classes. Her 34 double-doubles that season set an NCAA report, and her 23 consecutive double-doubles beginning final season broke Sylvia Fowles’ earlier report of 19 at LSU.