Angel Reese was not with No. 7 LSU for Monday night’s matchup with Texas Southern. It was the second consecutive game the star forward has missed. Tigers head coach Kim Mulkey has declined to offer details about the situation.

LSU beat Texas Southern, 106–47.

Reese was named Most Outstanding Player of the 2023 NCAA tournament after putting up a double-double in LSU’s championship victory over Iowa. She entered this year as an AP preseason All-American. But her playing time has been limited over the last week. 

Reese was benched for the second half of LSU’s game against Kent State last Tuesday. (Although the Tigers went on to win comfortably, they had been up by just two at the half, with 11 points and five rebounds from Reese.) Mulkey called that a “coach’s decision” but did not elaborate. Reese then did not travel with the team to play Southeastern Louisiana last Friday, and was not mentioned in a recap of Monday night’s win on the team’s official website.

“You want me to explain why? It’s very obvious Angel was not in uniform,” Mulkey said when asked about Reese on Friday. “Angel is a part of this basketball team and we hope to see her sooner rather than later.”

Reese’s senior season has gotten off to a bit of a rocky start.

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This year has brought some early challenges for the reigning champion Tigers. On the first night of the season, clearly struggling with cohesion, they were upset by No. 20 Colorado. They have several key new pieces: LSU brought in two high-profile transfers, Aneesah Morrow from DePaul and Hailey Van Lith from Louisville, along with one of the top freshmen in the country in Mikaylah Williams. (Despite her youth, Williams leads the team in scoring at 19 points pe and has frequently been the most poised player on the floor for LSU.) In Reese’s absence, Morrow has moved from the bench to the starting lineup.

Reese has averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds per game in her four appearances this season. She has not addressed her absence from the team publicly but did post on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Sunday: “please don’t believe everything you read.”

Up next for the Tigers is traveling to the Cayman Island Classic. LSU will play Niagara there on Nov. 24 and Virginia on Nov. 25.