Is Angel Reese Playing Against Virginia Tech?

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Colorado v LSU
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 6: Angel Reese #10 of the LSU Lady Tigers is seen during the game against the Colorado Buffaloes in the Naismith Hall of Fame Series at T-Mobile Arena on November 6, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

The No. 7 Tigers have a Final Four rematch against against No. 9 Virginia Tech this week.

LSU has continued its policy of silence about Angel Reese's absence as one of the team's biggest games of the season looms. The No. 7 Tigers (7-1) are scheduled to host No. 9 Virginia Tech (5-1) on Thursday. However, the team has not revealed if Reese will be returning to the team for this top-ten matchup. Reese has not played since being benched at half-time against Kent State on November 14. Reese has subsequently missed the team's next four games, including a Thanksgiving Week tournament in the Cayman Islands. The Tigers are 4-0 without Reese, although the NET ranking of their opponents in those games sat at an average of 202nd. However, the Tigers barely survived Virginia (53rd in NET ranking), beating the Cavaliers 76-73.

Furthermore, Tigers head coach Kim Mulkey has consistently shut down any line of questioning about Reese's absence. When asked if Reese would appear in LSU's first game after her Kent State benching, Mulkey told reporters to "buy a ticket and find out". Since then, Mulkey has only doubled down on her rhetoric. Mulkey said that her silence is about "protecting her players" while also alluding to "locker room issues". But the reality of the situation is that LSU has made sure to bunker down against any rumors or leaks. It's unknown if Reese is even training with the team right now.

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Drama Swirls Around Reese And LSU

The lack of communication from LSU has led to a deluge of rumors about what is going on. Reese's parents beefed with the parents of her teammate, Flau'jae Johnson. In those exchanges, Johnson's parents appeared to imply that Reese had been suspended for poor grades. Reese herself seemingly responded to this, telling her social media followers to not "believe everything you read". Meanwhile, recently graduated LSU alums chimed in, implying that they had insider knowledge about dysfunction on the team.

However, Reese appears largely unbothered by the speculation. On November 22, Reese posted a video to her TikTok account, showing her walking around her apartment in a fluffy pink bathrobe. The audio of the video was a speech by Deion Sanders talking about how little he thinks about his haters. Furthermore, Reese posted a video of the same speech to her Instagram last weekend. She has since posted other videos to her account, none of which appear to directly reference the drama within the team. This remains a developing story and we'll have any updates as and when they emerge.

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About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.