Amid Angel Reese Suspension Rumors, Can Caitlin Clark, Cameron Brinks and Others Push Back LSU?

Published 11/20/2023, 9:58 AM EST

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There’s a lot of talk about Angel Reese’s absence, which has raised questions about who will fill in for her if the rumored suspension is true. Bayou Barbie is a star player for the LSU Tigers women’s basketball team, but she hasn’t been on the floor lately. The LSU coach hasn’t explained why she’s not playing, and why she hasn’t been on the court since last Friday, when rumors of her suspension surfaced.

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And if the grapevine about her grades is true, it could be a while before fans see her playing for the LSU again. With that loose news swirling about, the status of Lady Tigers winning a title is fading in a thread, and the comparison of NCAA players who will climb to stardom without the presence of Angle is in hot debate.

The most possible case of Caitlin Clark

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Few player rivalries in American sports have gotten as much attention this year as the one between Iowa guard Caitlin Clark and LSU’s Angel Reese. Reese led the Tigers to a 102-85 win against the Hawkeyes in the national championship game on April 2 in Dallas. As the time approached zero, Reese signaled with her ring finger to break up her 15-point, 10-rebound performance. The move received both praise and condemnation from throughout the country.

In front of a sellout crowd of 6,790 on Sunday afternoon at the McLeod Center, Clark eclipsed Megan Gustafson as Iowa’s most prolific career scorer. The third-ranked Hawkeyes then recorded their most decisive road victory ever over Northern Iowa, winning 94-53.

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After finishing with 24 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists for her 12th career triple-double, Clark increased her career point total to 2,813. Despite a little drop in her prior performance, she was able to rise up the rankings when No. 2 Iowa defeated Drake 113-90 on Sunday.

Clark eclipsed Kelsey Plum for the most 30-point performances by a Division I player in the previous 25 seasons with her 39th career 30-point effort. Clark’s stats make her the most promising candidate to rule out Angel Reese. And given their beef, her candidature only appears certain. But she’s not the only one.

Cardinal’s Brink is making her way to stardom

Cameron Brink has had an incredible 2023 season. The standout player for the Stanford women’s basketball team helped USA win a gold medal and was named MVP at the FIBA 3×3 World Cup. Her success at the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup and the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup also earned her gold medals. Analysts predict that Brink will be among the top 10 picks in the 2024 WNBA Draft. Her skills continue to improve with each game played this season.

Brink also set a new record by becoming the second-most successful free throw shooter in NCAA women’s basketball history with 72 consecutive makes. She is only three points behind the current record holder, Michelle Gaislerova. This is even more impressive considering that she had a 61.5% field goal percentage two seasons ago, and that makes her a worthy competitor for Angel Reese’s seat.

Paige Bueckers stands tall after her return

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After being sidelined for 500 days, Paige Bueckers made a statement with her NCAA comeback. The 2021 National Player of the Year award went to Paige Bueckers of the Uconn Huskies, ranked No. 5. She’s also the first freshman to win the prestigious national Women’s College Player of the Year title.

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Bueckers also etched her name in the record books by obtaining the most assists for a rookie. She thus guided the Huskies to the NCAA tournament’s Final Four in 2021. But sadly, a left knee injury forced her to miss most of her sophomore season. She did, however, captain the squad in the national championship match.

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Watch This Story: 51 Days Away From Return, Ja Morant Teases Grizzlies Reunion With 4 Words

Paige’s hooping abilities may or may not surpass Angel Reese’s skills, but the Lady Tiger is likely to stay dominant with the fame she earned through her games.

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Written by:

Nima Murugan

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Nima Murugan is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. With a Master's in English Literature, she provides detailed analysis of the games. Nima developed an interest in the NBA after witnessing the greatness of LeBron James and she continues to support the Los Angeles Lakers with passion.
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Edited by:

Bilal Handoo

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