Denny Sanford Premier Center Is a Big Hit with Summit League Players and Coaches
Big Time college basketball came to The Denny this weekend after the Summit League Tournament moved down the block from the Arena.
And the reviews are in: The Denny is The Bomb to coaches and players alike.
Western Illinois junior forward Ashley Luke, the league’s player of the year and already in graduate school, loved playing at the Premier Center. That’s even with her Leathernecks coming out on the wrong end of the scoreboard against IUPUI Sunday afternoon.
“We’re in the Summit League and obviously it’s not the conference with the most bells and whistles," Luke said after the same. "So being able to play on a stage like this was very special.”
IUPUI Jaguars coach Austin Parkinson also had big props for the new championship venue—and sees bigger things ahead.
“Ah, absolutely love it, I think it’s great," Parkinson said in the post-game media session. "The atmosphere is great. They do a first class job. I think they’re going to end up hosting NCAA regionals and stuff just because how well done it is.”
Leathernecks coach J.D. Gravina was also complimentary and the transition to the larger facility was a good one.
“It’s beautiful," a hoarse Gravina said after the game. "I was wondering if it would lose some of its luster because it being so much bigger, but yesterday (Saturday), when they had big crowds, I mean, it had the same feel, the crowds got up and cheered and it still had that energy.”
The Premier Center hosted men's and women's first round games Saturday and Sunday. Semifinal games are Monday and the championship games for the automatic bids to the NCAA Final Four Tournament are Tuesday.