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Faith Dupree can practice with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team starting next week. But the transfer from Tennessee will have to wait to play.

The NCAA informed Laura Herron, UTC's senior associate athletic director for compliance and senior woman administrator, on Thursday that Dupree must sit out a year just like any other Division I basketball transfer.

Last month, UTC filed an appeal based on "medical rationale" with the NCAA Division I Subcommittee for Legislative Relief. Dupree played in two games for the Lady Vols as a freshman last season before a back injury sidelined her for the rest of the season, resulting in a medical redshirt.

"We knew it was a long shot," Herron said.

Lady Mocs coach Wes Moore said he was disappointed in the decision and doesn't agree with it.

"I think it's a shame," he said. "If you say you want to do what's best for the student-athlete, I don't think that is best. Who knows how they make decisions."

Even though the former Knoxville Webb star can't play right away, Moore said her presence in practice should help.

"We probably won't rush to bring her in as quickly now, but definitely it will be good to have her practice," he said. "We need [post] depth there, too."

UTC will still get some inside help with the addition of freshman Taylor Hall, the 6-foot-1 forward from Morristown West High School who was last year's Tennessee Class AAA player of the year. Hall signed last year but in the summer decided not to play college ball, only to change her mind a few months ago. She will arrive and be eligible to play next week after UTC's fall semester ends.

The Lady Mocs (3-4) haven't played since opening their Southern Conference schedule last Saturday with a win over Georgia Southern. They will suit up again Saturday when they host No. 14 Kentucky (6-1) in the second game of a doubleheader at McKenzie Arena.

"I hope shooting-wise [the time off] works like it did last week," Moore said, referring to UTC's performance against Georgia Southern.

The Lady Mocs, who had a week off before playing the Eagles, hit 61.1 percent of their shots and set a school and SoCon record with 16 3-pointers.

Contact John Frierson at jfrierson@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/mocsbeatCTFP.

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