"Sometimes you want to know more than you're entitled to know," Mulkey told reporters on Monday regarding Reese's absences
Angel Reese was noticeably absent from a second consecutive LSU Tigers game on Monday, and head coach Kim Mulkey wouldn't provide much of an explanation for why the LSU star, 21, is inexplicably away from the Tigers.
LSU didn't need Reese on the court for Monday's pummeling 59-point victory over Texas Southern, but Mulkey, 61, couldn't avoid questions about her star player during her postgame press conference.
However, Mulkey's puzzling response to a question about Reese's absence failed to provide additional information about the LSU star's whereabouts or what's keeping her from playing with the team.
"You always have to deal with locker room issues," Mulkey said on Monday in response to a question about Reese's current situation.
"That’s just part of coaching," she continued. "In 40 years, I can never think of a time where I didn't have to deal with issues. That’s what coaches do."
Mulkey added, "Sometimes you'll know about them, and sometimes you don’t," regarding the aforementioned "issues" facing her team. "Sometimes you want to know more than you're entitled to know," she continued.
Addressing the reporter personally, Mulkey insisted, "I'm going to protect my players. Always."
The highest-paid women's basketball coach said that her squad is "like a family," and suggested a hypothetical comparison to the inner workings of a collegiate team.
"Let me ask you this," Mulkey continued. "If you do some disciplining of your own children, do you think we're entitled to know that? That's a family in that locker room."
When one reporter prodded at any information about Reese's potential return, Mulkey said, "You're not entitled to that information, okay? Angel was not in uniform tonight. Angel is a part of this basketball team. And Angel will be back sooner than later."
Concluding her discussion with the media about Reese, Mulkey stated, "I've given you my answer."
Last week, LSU mightily defeated Kent State 109-79.
Reese posted 11 points and five rebounds in the first half when LSU was just two points ahead of Kent State, and Mulkey chalked up benching Reese for the entire second half to a "coach's decision" when speaking to reporters postgame.
Reese has been fairly quiet amid the missed games, likely to avoid feeding into speculation of a rift between her mother, Angel Reese Webb, and teammate Flau'jae Johnson's mother, Kia Brooks, on social media.
The online drama began when Webb criticized Johnson's grammar, according to Outkick.
The outlet reported that Brooks fired back at Webb in an Instagram comment. “You definitely know about grammar errors when your daughter got a 2.0-or-less grade point average," adding, “Stop being petty, fake and hateful, and take responsibility for you and your daughter’s actions.”
After the comment went viral on social media, Reese took to X (formerly Twitter) to seemingly address the rumor. "Please don’t believe everything you read," she wrote in a post on Sunday.
please don’t believe everything you read.
— Angel Reese (@Reese10Angel) November 19, 2023
Ahead of LSU's road game at Southeastern Louisiana, Mulkey dismissed any concerns over social media quarrels.
“Well, if you’re going to ask me social media stuff, I can cut you off,” Mulkey said. “I know nothing about it. Anybody in here can tell you, I don’t know what’s on social media. I don’t know what people see, read, whatever. Buddy, I’ve been doing this for 40 years. If there’s negative stuff on social media, do you think it’s the first time I’ve ever had to deal with it? Coach. Just coach and get your team prepared.”
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Reese and Mulkey were crucial components to LSU's NCAA Championship win in April.
Following the title, Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards spoke highly of Mulkey during the team's championship parade. "We all knew she could do it, but what she has done to elevate this program and all of women's sports is truly remarkable," he said, per ESPN.
Addressing LSU's players, including Reese, Edwards said that Louisiana "always had faith" the team could bring a title to the school, ESPN reported.
Edwards added, "But more importantly, you had faith in yourself and were smart enough not to listen to all the experts who said you didn't have a chance."
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