ATLANTA (BRPROUD) – LSU Head Women’s Basketball Coach Kim Mulkey, in her second season leading the Tigers, was named a semifinalist for the Werner Ladder Naismith Women’s Coach of the Year on Thursday by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
After leading the greatest single season turnaround by a first-year head coach in SEC history during her first year at LSU, Coach Mulkey went into her second season in Baton Rouge with nine new pieces. The momentum has continued in year two as she has brought together a team that will enter the NCAA Tournament with a 28-2 record.
LSU started the season 23-0, the best start in program history, and was one of the final two remaining undefeated teams. The Tigers finished the regular season 27-1, tied for the best regular season in program history. Their only regular season loss came to No. 1 South Carolina, which remains the only undefeated team heading into March Madness.
On top of leading a successful team on the court, Mulkey has revitalized the LSU Women’s Basketball fanbase. LSU sold-out two home games in the PMAC with 15,157 for its home game against Tennessee and a LSU PMAC all-time record for any sport of 15,721 in the home finale against Mississippi State. LSU will likely get to host more games in the PMAC during the NCAA Tournament as one of the Top-16 overall seeds.
On Sunday, LSU will learn its exact seed and first-round opponent during the selection show at 7 p.m. CT on ESPN. LSU will host a watch party in the PMAC for the selection show.
The Tigers began the season with a school-record five consecutive 100-point games, tying what is believed to be the NCAA record that was set in 1981-82 by Louisiana Tech when Mulkey played for the Lady Techsters. LSU remained flawless through nonconference as the nine new pieces meshed together and gained chemistry.
Once conference play began, LSU remained hot. Through its SEC slate, LSU had a scoring margin of +15.5. Shooting the ball well both inside and out with talented perimeter and post players, the Tigers
Angel Reese has put together one of the best seasons by an LSU player. She recorded 23 straight double-doubles to begin the season and currently has 28 on the year, both LSU records that were previously held by Sylvia Fowles. Reese also has a nation-leading five games with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds.
The freshman Flau’jae Johnson was showing her talent on the court on the way to winning SEC Freshman of the Year. Alexis Morris, the only returning contributor from last year’s team, settled into her role as the team’s points guard. She has continued to show her ability to score in a variety of ways while expanding her game as a distributor for her teammates. Jasmine Carson has been a sharpshooter for the Tigers and LaDazhia Williams has been a steadying presence in the paint throughout the year.
Kateri Poole, Last-Tear Poa and Sa’Myah Smith have all played critical roles coming off the bench for LSU in their first seasons in Baton Rouge.
2023 Werner Ladder Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year Semifinalists
|Dawn Staley||South Carolina||SEC|
|Denise Dillon||Villanova||BIG EAST|
|Joe Tartamella||St. John’s||BIG EAST|
|Kenny Brooks||Virginia Tech||ACC|
|Lisa Bluder||Iowa||Big Ten|
|Niele Ivey||Notre Dame||ACC|
|Teri Moren||Indiana||Big Ten|
|Vic Schaffer||Texas||Big 12|
(Press release provided by LSU Athletics)