CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team got full practice underway Monday afternoon at the Chattem Basketball Practice Facility.
For the last two weeks, the team has held workouts instead of two hour practices to get ready for the upcoming 2012-13 season. Following team work on the court, the Lady Mocs have hit the weight room for conditioning exercises as they look to regain the Southern Conference title.
Chattanooga returns three starters in seniors Kayla Christopher (Oliver Springs, Tenn.) and Kylie Lambert (Etowah, Tenn.) and junior Taylor Hall (New Tazewell, Tenn.). Off the bench last season was Alex Black (Memphis, Tenn.) at point with Meghan Downes (Newnan, Ga.) and Ka'Vonne Towns (Lilburn, Ga.) at wing. Down low the Lady Mocs went to 6-foot-3 transfer Faith Dupree (Knoxville, Tenn.) and posts Destiny Bramblett (Radcliff, Ky.) and Kayla Freeman (Carlton, Ga.).
The women added 6-foot-3 transfer Ashlen Dewart (Spartanburg, S.C.) and all-conference selection as well as WBI Most Outstanding Player as a freshman as Appalachian State. Freshman Alicia "Red" Payne (Memphis, Tenn.) will see action at the point while four-star guard Tatianna Jackson (Atlanta, Ga.) will be a reserve shooting guard.
The Lady Mocs will tip off the 2012-13 season Friday, November 9 against the Tennessee Lady Vols at the McKenzie Arena. Single-game tickets are on sale now at the box office by calling 423.266.MOCS (6627) or online at the official website of Chattanooga Athletics, GoMocs.com.
The women will participate in the annual Blue-Gold Game on Tuesday, October 30 at the Roundhouse and then host Lee University in an exhibition match on Thursday, November 1 at McKenzie.
Head Coach Wes Moore
Press Conference - October 9, 2012
On opening up against Tennessee
"It's definitely going to be a historic night. Pat was there 38 years and she's still there in a different role. It is going to be different. She's a legend and a face for women's basketball. It is going to be a big night. The last two times Tennessee came here we had over 10,000 in McKenzie two times ago and over 7,000 last time. Hopefully there will be a great crowd and a great game. Hopefully we'll compete with them."
On how different his team is
"I think this summer when we had them all here second semester of the summer session. It kept the team together. They lifted and conditioned together, and I think that was a positive. By giving them the break at the beginning of the summer, hopefully we're a little more conditioned and more prepared coming into the school year. Defensively, we're going to get back to what we did in my early years here and play a little bit more pressure defense in the half court. We may press some as well because I feel like we have a couple of players at every position that I'm comfortable with. We will be able to hopefully extend our defense some. Offensively, we'll try some new wrinkles and some new things. We will flow into the four out and one in still. With the post presence we have, we don't want to get away from that. We're going to try to get a little bit more movement in the beginning of our possessions so that we aren't standing around or letting the defense dictate what we do."
On if it has been a while since he has felt good on his depth
"I do feel a little bit better about our depth. Unfortunately we don't have any depth beyond that. We can't really afford injuries. If we can stay healthy, I feel good about being able to shuffle people in and out and use the bench a little more. I definitely feel good about the group we have. I think our two freshmen have really good basketball IQ's. We have a lot of juniors and two seniors in Kylie and Kayla who are looking to go out in style."
On if Ashlen Dewart is ready to begin the season after sitting last year
"I hope so. She knows what's going on. We will probably not play her and Faith Dupree together, along with Kayla Freeman. All three of those kids bring something different to the table. They've all been through it and know what's going on. Hopefully they'll be prepared to get off to a good start in that first game."
On if Faith Dupree will have limited minutes due to her back
"Yes but she did great in preseason. I was impressed with her and Taylor Hall both. I was very impressed with their preseason work and even over the summer. But right before we get ready to start practice, Faith's back goes out. She worked a little bit yesterday. But it is probably going to be a thing that comes and goes, and something that we're going to have to be aware of."