Is LSU Coach Kim Mulkey Hating Or Showing Players Like Angel Reese Who’s Really In Charge?

Louisiana State University guard Kateri Poole (jersey number 55) from the Bronx was noticeably absent on the court and the sidelines for the Lady Tigers at the Cayman Islands Classic in Georgetown. Poole joins another notable absentee, team star Angel Reese, who has yet to lace up for LSU since the team’s Nov. 14 win over Kent State.

Poole averaged 17 minutes in two years when she played at Ohio State University before hitting the transfer portal and landing in Baton Rouge. She averaged 22.3 minutes last season during the Tigers’ national championship run. Her last game was on Nov. 17 against Southeastern Louisiana.

Although LSU went 2-0 on its trip to the Cayman Islands, ending it with a gutsy 76-73 win over Virginia, the Tigers didn’t have a tremendous offensive game overall, and both teams turned the ball over 16 times. They shot 40.3% from the field, with Aneesah Morrow’s double-double (37 points, 16 rebounds) and Hailey Van Lith’s 12, the only players scoring double figures.

With Poole now absent, along with Reese and head coach Kim Mulkey, the questions remained stoic and limited on details, just one season after their Cinderella story championship run last year; the world wonders if Mulkey is a player hater or showing who’s boss.

The Gift And The Curse

Angel Reese is the girl on fire for the NCAA women’s basketball ranks. Since LSU bested the Iowa Hawkeyes last year to win their first-ever championship in basketball, Reese became a fixture in pop culture. Her NIL opportunities have been limitless, and she graced the pages of the most vaunted publications for athletes, like the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

Has Reese’s success been a blessing and a curse?

However, Mulkey, Reese and extended team members have been at odds since the season started. Reese has missed the last four games amid rumors of a low GPA, the beef between her mother and her teammate Flau’jae Johnson’s mother on social media, and Mulkey’s unbothered explanation.

Reese is very active on social media and has been reposting all the wins of the LSU Tigers. Her last post that indirectly spoke on her current situation read, “Please don’t believe everything you read.”

Mulkey has answered questions about both Poole and Reese, but given no details on the circumstances. During the press conference after the Texas Southern game on Nov. 20, Mulkey said coaches “always have to deal with locker room issues.”

“I’m going to protect my players, always,” Mulkey continued. “It’s like a family. 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.”

The 7-1 Tigers will return on Thursday to host another top-10 opponent in Virginia Tech. Reese posted a selfie of herself on social media inside the Pete Maravich Assembly Center at LSU on Monday night. Will Mulkey let her return? Only time will tell; but between Reese and Poole, Kim Mulkey is showing the players who the boss is.

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