Angel Reese the "Bayou Barbie" Continues to Shine at LSU

March 31, 2023

Athlete Studio

Angel Reese, a 6-foot-3 forward, has made a name for herself on and off the court in women's college basketball. Early in the season, she dubbed herself the "Bayou Barbie," and with each game, her following continues to grow. She's now just two wins away from earning a national title with LSU.

Before LSU, Reese was with Maryland in 2022 when she watched the championship game from afar. She entered the transfer portal shortly after, and on her 20th birthday in May, she announced she would join head coach Kim Mulkey in Baton Rouge. The move reset the trajectory of both the team and the star, as Reese's numbers are now among the best in the nation.

In her freshman season at Maryland, Reese averaged 10 points and 6 rebounds per game, but her season was cut short due to injury. In 2021-22, while fully healthy, she led the Terps with 17.7 points, 10.6 rebounds, 1.7 steals, and 1.1 blocks in 25.9 minutes per game. Her 5.3 offensive rebounds per game ranked second in the nation, and she was one of the best at getting to the free-throw line. Without a doubt, she was the top transfer on the market.

Reese's success in the bayou began in July when she arrived at LSU as a third-year sophomore, and a plan was put in place for her to thrive. Her 23.2 points per game now rank fifth in the nation, and she's doing it almost exclusively inside. She's first in free throws made and attempted. Her 15.7 rebounds are 50% higher than last season and rank second in the nation, grabbing 6.5 offensive rebounds (first) and 9.2 defensive rebounds a game. Her blocks are also up to 1.6 per game.

The LSU standout’s popularity on social media has also skyrocketed, and she's been taking advantage of name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals. With a devoted NIL-focused staff member in Jennifer Roberts at LSU, Reese's Instagram following has leaped from 70K to 530K as of Tuesday morning. She has more NIL deals than any other player in college basketball, with 17, according to a report from SponsorUnited. Her latest partnership is with JanSport, but she also has deals with McDonald's, Sparkling Ice, Xfinity, Wingstop, Outback Steakhouse, and Discord. 

While the “Bayou Barbie’s” approach on the court has drawn some criticism, Reese has shown that the critics have little effect on her game as shown by her standout play at LSU. This weekend in Dallas, Reese and LSU will play No. 1 seed Virginia Tech in the Final Four. If Reese and her team win, they will then play in the national championship game on Sunday. Regardless of the outcome, Reese's star power and impact on the court and off will continue to grow.

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