Texas Tech coach Krista Gerlich reacts to 'disappointing' setup at Las Vegas Invitational

As it turned out, The Mirage was an apt location for last week's Las Vegas Invitational women's basketball tournament.

For Texas Tech coach Krista Gerlich, the setup for the team's two-game trip was not the picture painted by event organizers.

The tournament, which drew national criticism, lacked appropriate seating for spectators, on-site medical staff and other critical details, Gerlich said during a news conference Tuesday back in Lubbock.

"The setup was definitely not what we expected," Gerlich said. "The concept was for it to be kind of like the NBA bubble, with stands, of course. It was going to be that type of environment. Like I said, the concept was really great because we never had to leave The Mirage. … That piece of it was great. It was really just the setup, and then just not the availability of much-needed support staff … the EMT not being provided and some of the things that athletic trainers need. That was a piece of it as well.

"There were just little details that are really crucial to making a tournament like that be, not seamless, but at least be high-level. So it was just disappointing that all those things weren't taken care of."

The Lady Raiders, who won both games in Vegas, were indirectly involved in a situation caused by the tournament's shortcomings. Tech's matchup against Mercer on Saturday was delayed following an injury to Auburn forward Kharyssa Richardson in the preceding game. Auburn media reported it took more than 40 minutes for paramedics to arrive.

Gerlich said the playing conditions were not dangerous, despite speculation that led to multiple injuries.

"It was just a little discouraging because it wasn't how we were presented," Gerlich said. "I don't really think it was unsafe, except that if something did happen they did not have emergency people … present to help us. But the court itself was safe. I think the idea and the concept was good, which is why we signed up to do that. But they just didn't follow through with several things.

"That was just frustrating from a coach's point of view because we do want to give our kids a great experience, and our fans as well. We had several fans that traveled, and they didn't have great accommodations for them, as far as seating and things like that."

Texas Tech's head coach Krista Gerlich points during the Jackson State preseason WNIT game, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022, at United Supermarkets Arena.
Texas Tech's head coach Krista Gerlich points during the Jackson State preseason WNIT game, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022, at United Supermarkets Arena.

Gerlich said there were also issues with the clock and video monitors against Middle Tennessee State, which was the first game of the LVI. She complimented her team on overcoming the delays associated with that.

"It's just frustrating that people don't take more pride in presenting the product," Gerlich said, "because as coaches, we take a lot of pride in the product that we put on the floor. So if you're running an event, you really want it to be top-notch. Not only for the current people, but for the future, right? For the next group that wants to come to Vegas and participate in that tournament."

This article originally appeared on Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Texas Tech coach Krista Gerlich reacts to 'disappointing' Las Vegas Invitational