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UTC women's basketball player Shelbie Davenport talks with coach Jim Foster during a Mocs practice earlier this month. Davenport sat out last season after transferring from Clemson.

Pardon Shelbie Davenport if she's a little anxious to get back on the basketball court.

It's been a while.

The 5-foot-10 University of Tennessee at Chattanooga sophomore sat out last season after transferring from Clemson, with her activity limited to practices with the Mocs. When practices started this season, Davenport was slightly overanxious and playing a little too fast for the liking of coach Jim Foster.

Now she's starting to slow down — and starting to carve out a spot on a veteran team filled with fourth-year juniors and seniors.

"Sometimes you're so anxious when you haven't played, so you come back and try to do everything in a hurry," Foster said last week. "She's really slowed down the last three to four practices, and as a result she has played really well."

Davenport — who put her excitement level at a "12" on a scale of one to 10 — admitted most of her emotions came from the fact she hadn't played in a while.

"I was just so anxious to be on the floor and actually play in a real game, but slowing down is definitely key in his style of game," she said of Foster's schemes, "so if I actually want to play, I'm going to have to slow down."

The former three-star recruit from Murfreesboro's Riverdale High School made 43 3-pointers during her freshman season at Clemson, scoring in double figures 15 times, with a career high of 19 points at Boston College. She also took 18 charges.

All of those things could prove her worth as a new on-the-floor member of the Mocs.

"With Chelsie (Shumpert) coming back, the leadership of Jasmine (Joyner) and even Moses (Johnson), Queen (Alford) and Ary (Gilbert), I don't have to have a big role," Davenport said. "Just a role of coming in, doing my job, helping them help our team, I'll do whatever I can.

"If that's knocking down shots, it's knocking down shots. If that's taking charges, whatever it is, I'm going to do it."

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @genehenleytfp.

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