Angel Reese was forthright in her reflections about how this LSU season has gone and the challenges she’s faced on and off the court while the Tigers try to defend their NCAA title

LSU star Angel Reese gave one of her most in-depth interviews of the season this week in the build-up to the NCAA Tournament, working to clarify some of the misconceptions about her.

Speaking with ESPN, Reese provided candid accounts of how she’s navigated the pressure-packed season that’s followed last year’s women’s basketball national championship triumph.

Reese knows critics will scrutinize everything she does given her immense national popularity. So, it was notable that she provided an inside look at her experiences when many others would have walled off from the media.

Below are some key points from Reese’s interview with ESPN, which was published on Friday before LSU’s March Madness journey got underway…

WATCH: Angel Reese Intentionally Chokes Opponent to the Ground as Kim Mulkey Screams in Support - EssentiallySports

Angel Reese reiterated that she knows what haters say about her

Since last year’s national championship game – a win over Iowa – Reese has been the victim of social media abuse. Look no further than the comments below any social media post about her from a major outlet to see what she deals with daily.

From incorrect information about Reese’s GPA and baseless speculation about her multi-week LSU absence, the star has shouldered external negativity that’s challenged her ability to maintain on-court focus. It’s impressive, then, that she still dominated opponents on the way to SEC Player of the Year honors. Reese reiterated to ESPN that she’s kept receipts of what people have said.

“They said I was too worried about social media, my GPA was low, I was pregnant,” Reese told ESPN. “Yeah, my stats have gone down maybe four to five points because I’m on a way better team this year. But I’m still averaging a double-double every game. I think people don’t realize I can do 10,000 things and still be good at all of them. And I can’t wait till just everything just falls right into place.”

Later, she added: “I want people to underestimate me. I’m telling you, I have everything bookmarked for the right moment when everything just falls right into my hands.”

LSU's Angel Reese hits 'you can't see me' taunt at Raising Cane's, championship celebration parade | Fox News

Angel Reese didn’t back down from personal rivalry with Kamilla Cardoso

Reese and South Carolina’s Kamilla Cardoso shared a fierce on-court rivalry that culminated in pushing, shoving and even a bit of hair-pulling in the SEC Tournament final. That was after stare-downs and trash talk during a close regular-season matchup in Baton Rouge.

As usual, Reese didn’t apologize for her passion and edge against Cardoso. Of her social media post that followed the regular-season tilt with the Gamecocks when she fouled out with four minutes to go.

“That game, that was one that was on my calendar, because when somebody tells me that they think that somebody else is better than me, and supposedly Kamilla was supposed to just dog-walk me all night, and mop me with the floor, and all this stuff,” Reese said. “So I had posted because we were the only team that has held them to what? We lost by six. Us being able to do that on our home court was something.”

Roots of Angel Reese’s trash talk, explained

Former high school coach Nyke Burrell said Reese’s trash talk, which has contributed to her being a polarizing figure in college basketball, stems from her upbringing in Baltimore.

“If you aren’t talking trash, they take advantage of you,” Burrell said. “They size you up. You’re not really gritty. You’re backing down if you don’t talk back. It’s a cultural thing here in Baltimore.”