KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — New Tennessee coach Kellie Harper believes it would be good for women’s basketball to have the Lady Vols competing for titles again.

How long that might take depends on how soon Tennessee can improve under Harper, a point guard for three straight Lady Vols national championship teams from 1996-98.

“Our fans obviously want it so bad, but I think women’s basketball needs it,” Harper said Monday in an interview with The Associated Press. “I think women’s basketball needs Tennessee back in there. Obviously that’s what we’re striving for.”

Harper, who led Missouri State to the Sweet 16 this season, begins her first full week as Tennessee’s coach trying to get the Lady Vols back among the nation’s elite women’s basketball programs.

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