Kim Mulkey would 'love' for LSU to play Louisiana Tech at neutral site, not in Ruston

Kim Mulkey would love for LSU to play her alma mater Louisiana Tech, but there's a personal caveat for her in order to possibly make it happen.

The Tigers (7-0) are hosting Southeastern Louisiana (4-2) inside the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on Tuesday (7 p.m., SEC Network+) and Mulkey, in her second season at LSU, was asked about scheduling other instate teams. She directed the conversation toward a future matchup with the Lady Techsters, who Mulkey starred for in the early 1980s.

"I know your next question will be, 'Will you ever play Louisiana Tech, your alma mater?'" Mulkey said. "I would love to play them in Bossier. I thought it was a great atmosphere when the men, LSU and Tech, played there last year. And I can say it now because signing day is over but that's where MiKaylah Williams is from.

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"So I'd love to play Tech there in Bossier. I think it would be beneficial for both programs."

LSU and Louisiana Tech have not played in women's basketball since 2016.

Since Mulkey's taken over in Baton Rouge, LSU has played Tulane, Nicholls State, Northwestern State and hosts SE Louisiana Tuesday. The Tigers traveled to Louisiana last season and will return a trip to Tulane on Sunday.

"I'd prefer to play all (instate schools) in the (Pete Maravich Assembly Center)," Mulkey said. "bring them all to the PMAC. I think going to someone else's court can be productive for that team but also to your team. So many things can go through your mind. For me, it's, 'What if we get beat there, is it going to hurt us in recruiting?'

LSU head coach Kim Mulkey reacts during the second half of an NCAA basketball game against Texas A&M on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in Baton Rouge, La. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
LSU head coach Kim Mulkey reacts during the second half of an NCAA basketball game against Texas A&M on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in Baton Rouge, La. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

"A part of me says you came back to this state to help women's basketball, to help everybody. So going to schools is also beneficial. The situation has to be good. We have Southeastern Louisiana this week, we have Tulane, we went to (UL).

But one notably omission is Louisiana Tech. Mulkey is all for coaching against her alma mater but won't take another team into the TAC and coach on the opposing sideline.

As a player from 1980-84, Mulkey helped push the Techsters to the first NCAA women's national championship in 1982, the first year the Thomas Assembly Center opened on Tech's campus in Ruston, as well a national runner-up and Final Four the next two seasons.

At the end of Mulkey's freshman season, the Techsters won the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) national title in 1981.

She joined the staff of her Louisiana Tech coach, Leon Barmore, in 1985, working with him until he retired in 2000. During that stretch, the Lady Techsters won 430 games, won another national championship in 1988 and reached seven Final Fours.

Mulkey badly wanted to succeed Barmore, but the two sides couldn't come to an agreement on a length of contract and she ultimately took the Baylor job.

"I'm never going back to the Assembly Center and coach in that arena. It's too many emotions involved," Mulkey said Monday. "We opened that arena. I was (130-6) in that building. I don't want to go into that Assembly Center coaching another team. I think it'd be way too emotional. I'll go back there anytime for a Leon Barmore statue or to do something for the program. But to coach in that arena, I don't think I'll ever do that.

"I don't think you'll ever see me change my mind on that."

Cory Diaz covers the LSU Tigers and Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns for The Daily Advertiser as part of the USA TODAY Network. Follow his Tigers and Cajuns coverage on Twitter: @ByCoryDiaz. Got questions regarding LSU/UL athletics? Send them to Cory Diaz at bdiaz@gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on Lafayette Daily Advertiser: Kim Mulkey hopes LSU can play Louisiana Tech at neutral site