U of Michigan alum Richard excited for his Wolverines

U of Michigan alum Richard excited for his Wolverines

DENVER -- In hindsight, Padres pitcher Clayton Richard said Sunday, he wishes he would have attended more University of Michigan men's basketball games when he was a student in Ann Arbor, a pitcher on the baseball team and quarterback on the football team.

"Looking back, I had so much going on, but I wish I would have made more time to go," said Richard, who attended Michigan from 2003-05.

Richard, who will start Tuesday's home opener at Petco Park, said he'll be supporting his Wolverines on Monday when they face Louisville in the National Championship game.

The Major League Baseball schedule, as unforgiving as it is with 162 games stretched over six months, has been kind enough to provide the Padres will an off-day on Monday.

"It's exciting. The last couple of years I've been more of a Big Ten fan. It's fun that we'll have an off-day to watch the national championship."

Richard, who makes his home in Lafayette, Ind., said he's a staunch supporter of the Big Ten and not just the Wolverines. He works out in nearby West Lafayette and has become a Purdue fan. He has got a few friends who are part of Purdue's baseball coaching staff.

Come Tuesday though, Richard's attention will be firmly focused on baseball and being better than he was his first time out last week against the Mets, when he allowed seven earned runs and three home runs in 4 1/3 innings.

"Just pitch better," Richard said when asked what he needs to improve upon. "It's simple. I've just got to execute. I've got to be better."

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.