Scott Rabalais: For a deep NCAA run, LSU can’t leave it all to Angel Reese, Alexis Morris

Scott Rabalais: For a deep NCAA run, LSU can't leave it all to Angel Reese, Alexis Morris

At their pre-NCAA tournament news conference Thursday, Hawaii guards Daejah Phillips and Lily Wahinekapu did their best to dim the awe of taking on LSU Friday while admitting they’re aware of the Tigers’ aura.

“I see it on TikTok here and there,” Phiillips said.

“Yeah, I see it on TikTok, too,” Wahinekapu said.

You can’t play basketball and not know LSU All-American forward Angel Reese, the highly marketable Bayou Barbie. You can’t be a college-age kid period and not know freshman Flau’Jae Johnson, LSU’s resident rap artist who has performed on “America’s Got Talent.”

And there’s LSU coach Kim Mulkey, already a Naismith Hall of Famer with six total NCAA championship rings as a coach, assistant and player plus and Olympic gold medal. I wouldn’t be shocked to see one of the other coaches here ask her for an autograph.

Mulkey likes to play “stump the media” with questions about old country and western songs. She usually wins about as often as she wins on the court. But she knows as well as anyone else that trivia challenges, nicknames and Hall of Fame résumés won’t help her team cut down nets.

This time a year ago, the Tigers were short some serious scoring potential. Guard Alexis Morris bravely played on an injured knee in last year’s tournament, but it was almost futile. She scored eight points in a nervous first-round win over Jackson State and three in a 79-64 loss to Ohio State, a game that with Morris healthy LSU likely would have won.

All that’s ancient history now. Morris was the top-returning player off that 26-6 team that lost, among other key pieces, All-Southeastern Conference point guard Khayla Pointer. Morris wasn’t sure where the rest of the scoring was going to come from, only that Mulkey, her former coach at Baylor where she built a now unraveling dynasty, would find a way.

“I never doubt coach Mulkey,” Morris said. “She’s always going to go for the best players, managers, coaches. I didn’t doubt her. I never wondered either. I never was concerned about it, because I knew she was going to bring in pieces that fit well with me and fit well with her system.”


About Marc Lemoine 3250 Articles
Marc is an Economist and a well experienced weightlifter who has won many championships. He intends to build a bright career in the media industry as well. He is a sports freak who loves to cover the latest news on sports, finance and economy.

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