Jeff Walz, Louisville basketball

Jeff Walz coaches Louisville during an NCAA Tournament win over Michigan.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It wasn't surprising news, but it was welcome news for the University of Louisville women's basketball team, which began practice on Thursday to the news that two key transfers are eligible to join the team this season.

ACC Freshman of the Year Elizabeth Balogun and all-freshman team member Elizabeth Dixon transferred from Georgia Tech after last season in the midst of turmoil within the program that saw the dismissal of coach MaChelle Joseph.

The pair applied for a special waiver to play immediately at Louisville, citing special circumstances, and the NCAA has granted their request.

"We are excited that both Elizabeth Balogun and Elizabeth Dixon will be eligible to play this season,” Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. “They are incredible young women, both on and off the court, and they already have a year of experience in the ACC, which is a huge plus. Adding them really helps us with our depth.”

Balogun, a 6-foot-1-inch guard from Chattanooga, started 30 games and led Georgia Tech with 14.6 points per game, leading all ACC freshmen and ranking eighth in the nation among freshmen.

Dixon, a 6-foot-5-inch forward from Memphis, also started 30 games and averaged 6.4 rebounds per game, tops among ACC freshmen. She was third on the team in scoring at 11 points per game.

Balogun will give the Cardinals added three-point range, while Dixon will provided an inside presence.

Louisville must replace three starters from last season's team that finished 32-4 and made the program's fifth appearance in the Elite Eight. The Cards do return starters Jazmine Jones and Bionca Dunham, plus the ACC's sixth player of the year, Dana Evans, at point guard.

They'll hit the court for Louisville Live at Fourth Street Live! on Friday night and will begin the season at home against WKU on Nov. 5.

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