Just six games into the season, the title defense of Angel Reese and the LSU Lady Tigers is off to a rocky start.
After opening the season with a loss to Colorado, LSU has been on a mission to get back on track but it hasn’t been without difficulty. In LSU’s fourth game of the season, Reese was benched for the second half. One game later, she was noticeably absent as her team prepared to face Southeastern Louisiana and did not play.
It was more of the same ahead of LSU’s matchup against Texas Southern on Nov. 20 — Reese did not warm up with her teammates and was absent from the bench.
Why was Angel Reese benched? And why wasn’t hasn’t she been with the team for the last couple of games? Here is what we know about the All-American forward’s absence.
What happened to Angel Reese?
As LSU geared up to face Southeastern Louisiana on Friday, Nov. 17, Reese was not with the team as it exited the bus nor during its pregame warmups. LSU Rivals columnist Ron Higgins noted that head coach Kim Mulkey would address Reese’s absence postgame.
After the Lady Tigers’ 23-point win over Southeastern Lousiana, Mulkey kept her answer regarding Reese’s absence quite simple:
“It’s very obvious Angel was not in uniform. Angel is a part of this basketball team and we hope to see her sooner rather than later.”
Reese was not in attendance for LSU’s matchup against Texas Southern on Nov. 20, either.
Her absence comes just days after she was benched for the entirety of the second half of LSU’s 30-point win over Kent State on Tuesday, Nov. 14.
Why was Angel Reese benched?
Against Kent State, Reese had 11 points and five rebounds while seeing 13 minutes of action in the first half. LSU entered halftime with a two-point lead.
Out of the break, Reese was not on the floor to begin the second half and remained on the bench for the third and fourth quarters as LSU outscored Kent State by 28 points to earn a 109-79 win.
After the game, Mulkey offered very little on Reese’s benching outside of acknowledging that it was a “coach’s decision.” There have been reports that Mulkey has taken issue with Reese’s attitude.
Adding to the in-house turmoil is a social media feud between Reese’s mother, Angel Reese Webb and Kia Brooks, mother of 2023 SEC Freshman of the Year, Flau’jae Johnson.
Reese reposted a final score graphic from the LSU women’s basketball account after the Southeastern Louisiana game Friday, then added a cryptic post of her own Sunday morning, a day before the Tigers’ next game against Texas Southern.
LSU Lady Tigers’ basketball schedule 2023-24
While it is unclear whether or not Reese was formally suspended, here are LSU’s next five games for which she could be back in action:
Date Opponent Time (ET) TV channelNov. 20 vs. Texas Southern 8 p.m. SEC Network+Nov. 24 vs. Niagara (Cayman Islands) 1:30 p.m. –Nov. 25 vs. Virginia (Cayman Islands) 5 p.m. –Nov. 30 vs. Virginia Tech 9 p.m. ESPNDec. 10 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette 3 p.m. SEC Network+