The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team is focusing exclusively on offense this week. Last week, during the first of two weeks of "workouts" leading up to the beginning of practice on Oct. 15, the Lady Mocs worked solely on defense.
UTC is allowed to practice now -- teams can conduct 30 practices starting 40 days before their openers, and the Lady Mocs host Tennessee on Nov. 9 -- but coach Wes Moore said he wanted to use the first two weeks of October to cram on the defense and then the offense. Both will, at times, look different than they have in years past.
The offensive changes, he said, will include more movement, instead of just setting up in the four-out scheme, and defensively the Lady Mocs will play a more aggressive style.
"Defensively we're going to try to turn it up a little bit, and I think that will give us more energy on offense," Moore said.
UTC will be without sophomore forward Kayla Freeman (foot) until November, Moore said, and junior center Faith Dupree worked out Monday after missing some time due to her recurring back problem. Dupree said she felt OK Monday, but the situation is day to day.
"I feel like we're two deep at every position, but we can't afford to be losing people," Moore said. "Next year will be different because we're signing all of the open slots."
The Lady Mocs have just 12 players on their roster and will lose seniors Kayla Christopher and Kylie Lambert, so they can sign five players. UTC already has four commitments.
The Lady Mocs have an experienced squad with two seniors, six juniors, two sophomores and two freshmen. One of the juniors is Ashlen Dewart, the Appalachian State transfer who sat out last season.
Whether it's a workout or practice, the former first-team All-Southern Conference forward with the Mountaineers said it feels good to be preparing for the upcoming season.
"It's exciting, and I think it gives me a whole lot more reason to play hard and do my best, because I haven't played in forever, like a year and a half," said Dewart, who was fourth in the SoCon in scoring (15.6 points per game) and led the league in field-goal percentage (.534) in 2010-11.
• Mocs Club members can buy tickets (up to six) this week to the Lady Vols game, whereas the general public must wait till next Monday. Someone can join the Mocs Club for $75 and take advantage of the opportunity by visiting the McKenzie Arena box office or calling 266-6627.
Contact John Frierson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/mocsbeatCTFP.