Angel Reese wasn’t on the court on Friday night, but appeared she might have been on Saturday afternoon.
The LSU women’s basketball star posted a picture on her Instagram story of what looked like an empty LSU practice court with a cart of basketballs less than 24 hours after she was not in uniform for the Lady Tigers’ game against Southeastern Louisiana.
Reese, 21, rose to stardom last season when she led LSU to a national title over Iowa and star Caitlin Clark.
Amid that rise to prominence, she has landed numerous NIL deals and even become a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model.
But so far for the No. 7 Tigers, despite their 5-1 record, things have come under extra scrutiny, especially after they were upset on opening night by Colorado.
Since then, Reese was benched in the second half of Tuesday’s game against Kent State, which was called a “coach’s decision,” before not even being in uniform during Friday night’s 73-50 rout over Southeastern Louisiana.
Head coach Kim Mulkey addressed the situation in her postgame press conference on Friday night but did not not offer much clarity on the subject.
“You want me to explain why? It’s very obvious Angel was not in uniform,” Mulkey told reporters after Friday night’s game. “Angel is a part of this basketball team and we hope to see her sooner than later.”
Alexis Morris, a former teammate of Reese, posted on X about her thoughts on the situation.
“I never ever ever wanted to be at odds, or cared about likes, media, nil none of those things,” Morris wrote on Saturday. “I just wanted to hoop. I come from a different generation of players, we did not have all this when I was in HSNIL is a plus! Media coverage is a plus in my eyes.”
Amid all of this, Reese posted a slideshow on TikTok on Friday night that included pictures of flowers that appeared to be from her boyfriend — and Florida State basketball player — Cam’ron Fletcher.
In her caption, Reese seemed to indicate some of the pressures she’s been feeling.
“They can say whatever they want about you but i know you the realist on my team,” she wrote in the post that did not allow for comments. “Friends for 6 years and now 6 months of dating. thank for you for being there during the light & the dark of my life. You keep me sane & being my peace is what I’ve always look at you for.
“Knowing I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders & everyday isn’t easy for me, you always ALWAYS make sure i’m good.“
Reese has still put up strong numbers this season despite all of the drama, averaging 17 points and 10.3 rebounds through her first four games.
LSU next plays on Monday night against Texas Southern.