Mon. Apr 15th, 2024
alert-–-lsu-coach-kim-mulkey-insists-she-has-full-focus-on-march-madness-sweet-16-showdown-with-ucla-today…-as-washington-post’s-mystery-‘hit-piece’-continues-to-weigh-heavyAlert – LSU coach Kim Mulkey insists she has full focus on March Madness Sweet 16 showdown with UCLA today… as Washington Post’s mystery ‘hit piece’ continues to weigh heavy

Despite winning last year’s national championship, the LSU Tigers women’s basketball team under head coach Kim Mulkey are entering their Sweet 16 matchup as underdogs.

The third-seed Tigers will be playing the two-seed UCLA Bruins in Albany, New York at noon on Saturday – all with the expectation that the team might lose this contest.

This all also comes as a dark cloud hangs over the program – with its coach, players, and administrators all awaiting the publishing of a Washington Post article on Mulkey that she has preemptively called a ‘hit piece’.

But Mulkey insists the team’s focus at the moment is on the game against the Bruins and not on the paper’s reporting.

‘Look, [UCLA is] supposed to win the game,’ Mulkey told reporters in Albany. ‘They’re the 2 seed, we’re the 3 seed. But we’re not going to go away. We’re going to fight hard.’

LSU coach Kim Mulkey says she isn't distracted by the Washington Post's upcoming article

LSU coach Kim Mulkey says she isn’t distracted by the Washington Post’s upcoming article

Star Angel Reese says 'This isn't the worst thing that's happened to us this season'

Star Angel Reese says ‘This isn’t the worst thing that’s happened to us this season’

Meanwhile, the team - featuring Haley Van Lith - must focus on second-seed UCLA on Saturday

Meanwhile, the team – featuring Haley Van Lith – must focus on second-seed UCLA on Saturday

Specifically addressing the Post article, she later added, ‘I did make a statement, and that’s all I’ll comment on at this time because all I am focused on is to try and win another basketball game. I’m only here today to talk about the game.’

That statement was more along the lines of a four-minute rant – which also included a threat to sue the paper if the article is released.

LSU players say they aren’t distracted – with star Angel Reese saying that it’s just one blip in a long line of blips that the team has dealt with this season. 

‘This isn’t the worst thing that’s happened to us this season,’ Reese said. ‘If you’ve been keeping up, you know way more things have come our way. Add another thing to the book. Add another thing to the list. 

‘So we’re not distracted. We’re still focused on the main goal and that’s one thing at a time.’

Meanwhile, the task at hand is to find a way to get past the Bruins – which could set up a potential title-rematch with Caitlin Clark and Iowa in the Elite Eight.

‘We’re playing the mind game with ourselves a little bit that everybody wants us to be knocked off,’ transfer guard Haley Van Lith said. 

‘Everybody thinks they can beat us. Everybody doesn’t think we’re going to win. So that’s what we’re choosing to put our energy into because ultimately that’s going to motivate us to get the best result.’ 

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