With LSU star forward Angel Reese missing in action and little explanation forthcoming from Coach Kim Mulkey, the seventh-ranked Tigers are attracting unwanted scrutiny at the outset of their national title defense.
On Monday, there was no indication that Reese would be back with the team for a home game against Texas Southern.
LSU women's basketball program spokesman Grant Kauvar said he couldn't predict how soon Reese might return, adding that people would just have to "come to the game and see.
Mulkey's reticence regarding Reese -- one of the most popular and commercially successful athletes in all of women's college sports -- has presented a public relations challenge for LSU and opened perhaps more room for speculation than LSU might have liked.
During a back-and-forth on the social media website Instagram, the mother of sophomore guard Flau'Jae Johnson, Kia Brooks, made a comment about Reese's academic performance.
Reese's mother, Angel Webb Reese, had criticized Brooks' grammar in an earlier post, to which Brooks responded.
Reese, who has nearly 378,000 followers on the social media site X (formerly Twitter), has been relatively quiet on the platform, other than one post over the weekend which states.