All-American forward Angel Reese was absent from the LSU women’s basketball team for a second straight game Monday night, when the Tigers beat Texas Southern 106-47.
Reese has not played since the first half of the Tigers’ game against Kent State last Tuesday. She sat the second half of that contest and the duration of LSU’s next two games: Friday night against Southeastern Louisiana and Monday.
LSU coach Kim Mulkey has declined to explain Reese’s absence in four separate news conferences. On Friday, she offered only a terse statement in response to a question about her missing star forward, and on Monday she reiterated that statement and said that coaches always have to deal with “locker room issues.”
“That’s just part of coaching,” Mulkey said. “In 40 years, I can never think of a time where I didn’t have to deal with issues. That’s what coaches do.
“Sometimes y’all know about them, and sometimes y’all don’t. Sometimes you want to know more than you’re entitled to know. I’m going to protect my players always.”
Through four games, Reese averaged 17.0 points and 10.3 rebounds per game, and she converted 46.9% of her field goal attempts. Against Mississippi Valley State, she recorded her 37th double-double as a Tiger, the second most in program history.
Last season, Reese scored 23.4 points per game, grabbed 15.4 rebounds per night and shot 52.5% from the field. After LSU defeated Iowa in the national championship game, she was named the Final Four’s most outstanding player.
“If you do some disciplining of your own children,” Mulkey said, “do you think we’re entitled to know that? That’s a family in that locker room.”
Reese was the only LSU player who was not dressed out for the game.