LSU star forward Angel Reese is not with the team for their matchup against Southeastern Louisiana, the Tigers confirmed Friday. Here’s what you need to know:
- Coach Kim Mulkey benched Reese for the second half of LSU’s game Tuesday against Kent State, citing a “coach’s decision.”
- Reese finished with 11 points and five rebounds in 14 minutes during Tuesday’s contest — all season lows.
- The 2023 Women’s NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player is averaging 17 points and 10.3 rebounds on 46.9 percent shooting through four games this season.
It’s been a strange start to the season for Reese. She entered the year as a preseason first-team All-American after earning most outstanding player honors at the 2023 Final Four but has not looked the part in the early going. Reese was outplayed by Colorado center Aaronette Vonleh in the Tigers’ season-opening loss to the Buffaloes; LSU was outscored by 14 points in Reese’s minutes, and coach Mulkey criticized the leadership and toughness of her veterans postgame.
The Tigers rebounded against two lesser opponents, easily dispatching Queens and Mississippi Valley State by a total of 119 points; Reese had 42 points and 24 rebounds in the two wins. However, things got weird in the team’s fourth contest against Kent State. Reese was pulled 48 seconds into the game after taking an errant 3-pointer and didn’t come back in for more than five minutes.
Reese ultimately put up 11 points and five rebounds in the first half; however, LSU led by only two at intermission, and Mulkey benched Reese in the second half in favor of sophomore Sa’Myah Smith and junior transfer Aneesah Morrow. After the game, which the Tigers won by 30, Mulkey called the choice a “coach’s decision.” — Sabreena Merchant, staff women’s basketball writer
(Photo: Ethan Miller / Getty Images)