Gophers turn up Bierman to prepare for Puerto Rico

by Jack Satzinger

When Minnesota faces Louisville in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, on Friday night, the temperature will be around 80 degrees with 83 percent humidity. 

But the Gophers practice gym at Bierman Field Athletic Building is even hotter. Head coach Richard Pitino turned the thermostat up for Minnesota's recent practices to simulate playing in a tropical environment. Junior forward Joey King said it's between 85 and 95 degrees on the court. 

"We've just really been prepping for the heat and the recovery phase of it where we've been taking extra electrolytes and just things that will keep our bodies recovered at a faster pace," King said. "Instead of just being hit by a shock right away, we're really just preparing for what we're getting into." 

Redshirt senior center Elliott Eliason said the team has been working up more of a sweat than usual practicing there. 

"It's pretty brutal. It's really hot in there, I'm not going to lie. You notice it right away," he said.