(Credit: WAFB Channel 9)

If you’re a reporter trying to find out more about Angel Reese’s mysterious absence, well LSU head women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey doesn’t believe you’re entitled to that information.

It’s only the biggest story in college basketball.

Something’s going on with Reese, who didn’t travel with the Tigers for their 73-50 victory over Southeastern Louisiana. Questions persisted then, but Mulkey was mum on details. Reese missed her second consecutive game Monday and was not in attendance for a 106-47 win over Texas Southern.

Even though the defending national champions won pretty handily, the story was Reese.

“You always have to deal with locker room issues. That’s just part of coaching,” said Mulkey, who again was mum on details and unwilling to share the reason behind Reese’s absence or provide a timeline for her return. “In 40 years, I can never think of a time where I didn’t have to deal with issues. That’s what coaches do. Sometimes y’all know about them and sometimes you don’t.

“Sometimes you want to know more than you’re entitled to know. I’m going to protect my players. Always. They’re more important…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.”

Mulkey is right. Reporters aren’t entitled to information that teams deem pertinent to being kept inside the confines of the locker room. At the same time, reporters are the lifeline to fans and serve as an intermediary of information. At the very least, fans are entitled to know why Reese, one of the biggest names in the sport, is absent.

Reese broke her silence on Sunday, pleading with those on social media not to believe everything they read. We know that’s not related to Mulkey’s comments from last week, considering she hasn’t given any information on Reese for people to believe one way or another.

With her absence obviously not having to deal with an injury, Mulkey was asked if the unanimous First-Team All-American has been practicing with the team. Mulkey chose her words carefully, taking brief pauses before asking the reporter, “Were you at the press conference the other day?”

When the reporter responded that they had been at Friday’s press conference, Mulkey divulged that she would give the same answer that she gave on Friday — a non-answer that indicates that Reese will be back with the team at some point in the future.

This is where things start to get a little tense, as Mulkey’s patience starts to wear thin.

Mulkey was asked if she had decided if Reese would make the trip to the Cayman Islands, referring to an upcoming tournament that features back-to-back games against Niagara and Virginia.

“If I have, I wouldn’t tell you,” she said. “You’re not entitled to that information.”

“So I’ll say it again, Angel was not in uniform tonight. Angel is a part of this basketball team and Angel will be back sooner than later.”

You have to give credit where credit is due here, as the reporter continued to press Mulkey to give an answer on whether Reese has been practicing with the team.

“I’ve given you my answer,” said Mulkey, who dismissed the question altogether.

It seems like we’ll have an answer on Reese’s mysterious absence sooner than later, but it certainly speaks volumes that Mulkey has gone to quite the lengths to keep this information in. house. She has every right to protect her players — and maybe this an instance of her doing so — but perhaps the most famous college basketball player on the face of the earth (right now) being out of uniform for consecutive days is going to be a story. And whether Mulkey likes it or not — she clearly doesn’t — the LSU coach is going to continue to be asked about Reese’s absence. That’s also a part of coaching, Kim.

[Jacques Doucet on X, The New York Post]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.