Vegas ladies’s hoops tourney setup criticized

Indiana Hoosiers ladies’s basketball coach Teri Moren stated Saturday that a possibility was missed to showcase her No. 6-ranked, undefeated squad and different groups on the Las Vegas Invitational event this weekend due to a subpar setup for the occasion.

A web site coordinator for the occasion informed ESPN that he apologized to gamers, coaches, followers and referees concerning the event circumstances, which have been mentioned on social media. The event was performed on a courtroom in a big ballroom space at The Mirage lodge that had no stands for spectators. Chairs had been arrange across the courtroom.

Moren confirmed that the location coordinator, Ryan Polk, did apologize.

“I think there are other people who probably need to apologize as well for wanting us to come and play in this event and making promises, if you will,” Moren stated. “This is not what was described to us a far as what the venue was going to look like, what the setup was going to look like.

“What was disappointing was the aesthetics; it is not a fan-friendly atmosphere. As ladies’s basketball coaches, we’re attempting to maneuver our recreation ahead. It felt like as a result of [this] acquired so many ticks on social, that we had taken a pair steps backwards. We now have an obligation to develop our recreation, and we fully missed on this chance as a result of you’ve a number of actually good groups which can be right here. I see all these different tournaments occurring and photographs of that, however this was a significant miss.”

Indiana shared correspondence the school had in March with the tournament director, Bryce McKey, who told the Hoosiers that the event would be set up with a court similar to what the Athletes Unlimited professional women’s league in Las Vegas had earlier this year. But it did not resemble that.

McKey was at another tournament this weekend in Daytona, Florida. Polk said the tournament organizers realized too late that the setup in Las Vegas would not be up to par.

“We’re very sorry,” Polk said. “The courtroom and the lighting, that stuff hasn’t been a problem. However we wanted to have full-on bleachers. We now have notified The Mirage we cannot be coming again once more. It is a one-time catastrophe when it comes to occasions. It undoubtedly didn’t go the way in which we thought or deliberate. We simply severely missed the mark when involves the spectator aspect.”

Another issue arose Saturday night at the tournament, though, when Auburn Tigers player Kharyssa Richardson was injured after hitting the floor hard while scrambling for a loose ball. The game was delayed nearly an hour during the wait for her to get medical attention. According to the Auburn radio broadcast, it took more than 40 minutes for paramedics to arrive to the court.

“She was alert, she was conscious of every little thing, so I actually imagine it is precautionary,” Auburn coach Johnnie Harris said after the Tigers’ 74-73 win over the Colorado State Rams.

On Friday, Indiana standout Grace Berger sustained a knee injury, and she did not play in Saturday’s 79-64 victory over the Memphis Tigers.

Moren said she had no issues with the court itself and felt it had nothing to do with Berger’s injury. However, she was concerned at the length of time it took for Richardson to receive medical care. The Hoosiers still decided to play after that, with their game starting more than an hour late.

“I do not learn a number of social [media],” Moren said. “However this notion that the ground … there is not any downside with the ground. The damage to Grace didn’t occur due to the ground.

“[But] I think any good tournament has EMT and all that, medical professionals, on site. And once again that wasn’t the case. Another big miss for this tournament. There were a lot of things that should have been better, and they just weren’t. I was very frustrated having to watch that moment for Auburn.”

Moren stated she did converse Saturday to Indiana athletic director Scott Dolson, who needed to ensure the staff thought the atmosphere was protected to play in. She stated the Hoosiers did really feel protected, however the Auburn damage induced her some pause.

“We’ve played in ballrooms before,” Moren stated. “We were in the Bahamas last year: Another ballroom scenario but looked far different than the ballroom we’ve played in the last two nights. I don’t want there to be the notion that playing in ballrooms is dangerous. But in this particular event, there were a lot of things that needed to be better.”

ESPN’s Alexa Philippou contributed to this story.