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Brittney Griner's former coach at Baylor, Kim Mulkey, refuses to make any comment about her detainment in Russia

Cassandra Negley
Cassandra Negley
September 26, 2022, 5:41 pm

It has been 221 days since Brittney Griner was initially detained in Russia, and in that time Kim Mulkey, the coach she won a national title for at Baylor, has not said anything about it. That continued on Monday, when she formally declined any comment, dismissing a question about Griner when talking to reporters at her first preseason practice of the year.

Mulkey, who took the head women's basketball job at LSU last year, was asked a two-part question by The Daily Advertiser's Cory Diaz. The second question was about Griner.

"I just want to get your thoughts on the Brittney Griner situation," Diaz said. "I don't think I've seen anything from you on that and just —"

"And you won't," Mulkey said. "I'll answer the first one for ya."


Full Writeup! 


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ATLANTA – LSU Head Women’s Basketball Coach Kim Mulkey was named on Wednesday’s Naismith Coach of the Year late season watchlist.

In her second season in Baton Rouge, Coach Mulkey has lead LSU to a 23-1 record with four regular season games remaining. With nine new players and only one returner who played significant minutes last year, the Tigers have used the motto ‘Piece It 2gether’ to blend all of the pieces into a solid unit. After LSU went 26-6 in her first year at LSU with and she won AP Coach of the Year, Coach Mulkey brought in an elite class of freshmen and transfers to allow the Tigers to continue to build a championship contender in Baton Rouge.

Alexis Morris, who scored 15.0 points for LSU last season, was the only returning player who had major contributions last season. After signing an elite freshmen class that included Flau’jae Johnson who has started every game this season and Sa’Myah Smith who has seen significant minutes off the bench and is only beginning to tap into her full potential, Coach Mulkey and her staff hit the transfer portal hard. They also signed Last-Tear Poa, to top rated JUCO player in the country who has seen significant minutes coming off the bench.

Angel Reese was ranked as the No. 1 Impactful transfer who came to LSU from Maryland. She began her career in Baton Rouge with a program record 23 consecutive doubles-doubles. Jasmine Carson came to LSU from West Virginia, Kateri Poole came from Ohio State and LaDazhia Williams came from Missouri and Coach Mulkey brought in all of the pieces to put a successful team on the court.

As a group they have meshed well. LSU began the season with a 23-0 record, the best start in program history and the longest win streak in program history. LSU was one of two remaining undefeated teams in the country and its first loss came to the only other unbeaten team in No.1 South Carolina, the defending National Champion.

Excitement around LSU Women’s Basketball is at an all-time high and continues to climb under Coach Mulkey’s leadership. There have been two sellouts this season in the SEC both games that LSU played in. On January 30, 15,157 fans packed into the PMAC to watch LSU take on Tennessee to set a PMAC record in its current configuration regardless of sport. The on February 12, Colonial Life Arena in Columbia was soldout to watch the Tigers play against the Gamecocks. The LSU vs. South Carolina was the most watched NCAA Women’s Basketball regular season game since 2010, averaging 1.6 million viewers and peaking at 1.7 million viewers.


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NEW ORLEANS (July 21) – Kim Mulkey, the head coach of the national champion LSU women's basketball team, has been selected as the Allstate Sugar Bowl's Outstanding Collegiate Coach for Louisiana for 2022-23.


The Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, selects annual award winners in a variety of categories; it also selects Amateur Athletes of the Month and each year's Hall of Fame class. Overall, 24 individuals and three teams will be honored for their 2022-23 achievements at the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of FameAwards Banquet on August 5. Honorees are currently being announced over a two-week period, wrapping up with the Corbett Awards for the top male and female amateur athletes in the state on Friday, July 28.


Mulkey, who assembled nine transfers and freshmen in her second season in Baton Rouge – brought the program its first Final Four victory in six attempts and then two days later, she led the flagship institution of her home state to its first NCAA Basketball Championship and the 50th team national title in LSU Athletics' 130-year history.


"About a minute 30 to go, I couldn't hold it," Mulkey said of her late game tears. "I got emotional. That's not very like me until that final buzzer goes off. I don't know what it was, but I lost it. So that should tell you what I think about it. Very, very emotional and tears of joy."


It was the fourth championship in as many title game appearances in Mulkey's coaching career (previous wins at Baylor in 2005, 2012 and 2019), as she became the first women's basketball coach to win NCAA championships at multiple schools. LSU (34-2) scored the most points in a Women's Final Four game, as the Tigers shot 54.3 percent (38 of 70) from the field including 11-of-17 from three-point range. The 187 combined points was also the most in a Final Four game.


In addition to the committee-selected award-winners, a fan vote was conducted for the first time. The fans' choice for Louisiana's Outstanding Collegiate Coach honor was Willie Fritz, the head coach of the Tulane football team. Fritz had a truly historic and magical 2022 season. The program defeated then No. 22 CFP ranked UCF on Dec. 3 by a 45-28 score to capture the school's first-ever American Athletic Conference (AAC) title and earn Tulane its first appearance in a major bowl game since the Sugar Bowl in 1940 with the trip to Arlington, Texas to play in the 87th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic against USC on Jan. 2. In that game, Tulane scored 15 points in the last four and half minutes of game time to shock USC for its first win in a major bowl since a 1935 victory over Temple in the Sugar Bowl.


Joining Mulkey and Fritz as finalists in the highly-competitive Coach of the Year field were Jay Johnson (LSU Baseball) and Joe Scheuermann(Delgado Baseball).


Johnson, in his second year at the helm of the LSU baseball program, led the Tigers to their seventh College World Series Championship. LSU was ranked among the best teams in the country throughout the season and then it rose to the top, posting an 11-2 record in NCAA Tournament games. The Tigers won the Baton Rouge Regional, then swept Kentucky in a Super Regional. After slipping into the losers' bracket at the College World Series, LSU rallied and eliminated overall No. 1 seed Wake Forest to reach the championship series against SEC-rival Florida. After splitting the first two games, including a thrilling 4-3 win in 11 innings, LSU erupted for 18 runs in the championship game to wrap up the title.


Scheuermann directed the Dolphins to the 2023 South Central District Championship and a berth in the NJCAA World Series while matching the school-record for wins. It was Delgado's sixth overall World Series appearance and its fifth under Scheuermann's guidance (first since 2016).


The Sugar Bowl has recognized an Outstanding Louisiana College Coach since 1961 and Mulkey is the fifth women's basketball coach to be honored. It is not her first Sugar Bowl honor, however – in 1984, she earned the Bowl's James J. Corbett Award as the top amateur athlete in the state of Louisiana for her playing accomplishments at Louisiana Tech. That was in the days when the honor only went to one athlete, male or female. She topped male stars including Louisiana Tech's Karl Malone, LSU's Dalton Hilliard, and Tulane's John "Hot Rod" Williams to become the second woman to earn the honor.


The Allstate Sugar Bowl will continue announcing its honors on Monday with the release of its first member of the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame's Class of 2023.


Outstanding Boys' Prep Coach of the Year, New Orleans: Cullen Doody, Jesuit Cross Country

Outstanding Girls' Prep Coach of the Year, New Orleans: Chris Prator, St. Scholastica Swimming

Outstanding Female Amateur Athlete, New Orleans: Alia Armstrong, LSU Track & Field

Outstanding Male Amateur Athlete, New Orleans: Tyjae Spears, Tulane Football

Jimmy Collins Special Awards: Tulane Football & Lisa Stockton (Tulane Women's Basketball Coach)

Outstanding Boys' Prep Team, New Orleans: Carver Basketball

Outstanding Girls' Prep Team, New Orleans: McGehee Track & Field

Outstanding Collegiate Coach, Louisiana: Kim Mulkey, LSU Women's Basketball

Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2023 Inductee: July 24 (Monday)

Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2023 Inductee: July 25 (Tuesday)

Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2023 Inductee: July 26 (Wednesday)

Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2023 Inductee: July 27 (Thursday)

Corbett Award – Female: July 28 (Friday)

Corbett Award – Male: July 28 (Friday)

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I think Kim Mulkey DESERVED to be coach of the year in La.   Jay Johnson's baseball team was highly ranked going into the season.  Mulkey's ladies were not highly ranked.  They had some talent, but Kim coached them up, developed the team, and got them to come together for a run at the title after being beaten convincingly by S. Carolina in the regular season.  In the great interview above, she is so down to earth.  She won't let the team get the swelled head, at least she will try not.  The correct psychology is used in every sentence she utters, stay humble, motivate, challenge, recruit, sell her program. 

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