Afternoon Sports Brief - UW quarterback, O'Brien, ready to play.
For the second year in a row, the University of Wisconsin football team has recruited a college quarterback with a wealth of experience who can play right away. Last year, it was Russell Wilson. This year, it's Danny O'Brien who fell out of favor at Maryland when a coaching change was made a year ago. Badgers' coach Bret Bielema said this afternoon that O'Brien chose the UW over Penn State and Ole Miss. O'Brien has two years of eligibility remaining, but he's on track to graduate this spring and that's why he doesn't have to wait a year under the NCAA's normal transfer rules. O'Brien was the ACC's rookie of the year at Maryland in 2010, when he completed 57% of his passes for 2438 yards, 22 touchdowns, and only eight interceptions. But his coach Ralph Friedgen was fired and new coach Randy Edsdall changed the system from a pro-style to a spread offense. And O'Brien threw 10 picks and 1600 plus yards before losing his starting spot. He asked for a release and received it.
Bielema said his staff found out as much as possible about O'Brien, and was convinced he would fit into the Badger program. And like Wilson a year ago, Bielema said O'Brien would have to earn his starting spot by beating out Wisconsin's five other quarterbacks. But Jon Budmayr and Curt Phillips continue to be riddled with injuries. New recruit Bart Houston is facing shoulder surgery. And Wisconsin's other two QB's are inexperienced, Joe Brennan and redshirt freshman Joel Stave. Bielema says he knows O'Brien will inevitably be compared to Wilson who transferred from North Carolina State and led the Badgers to a win in the inaugural Big Ten title game and a berth in the Rose Bowl.
As expected, Yovani Gallardo was named today as the Milwaukee Brewers' Opening Day starter against Saint Louis a week from Friday at Miller Park. Manager Ron Roenicke said he chose Gallardo because he has started the openers for the previous two years and after having a big season a year ago, the skipper said he deserved to keep that role. Zack Greinke had also been in the running as the Opening Day starter, and he'll pitch the Brewers' second game against the Cardinals. Roenicke said he explained his reasoning to Greinke, and he was okay with it. Greinke said earlier in Spring Training that he'd be okay as the Number two starter going into the season. Randy Wolf, Shaun Marcum, and Chris Narveson will be the third, fourth, and fifth starters. That's contingent on Marcum recovering from an inflamed throwing shoulder. Marcum looked good in his spring debut last Sunday, and he'll pitch in a minor league game tomorrow. If he doesn't do well, Marcum could be put on the disabled list to start the season. The Brewers are winding down their Cactus League exhibition schedule. Today, they're playing the Diamondbacks in Arizona.
Wisconsin women's basketball point guard Lacia Gorman is leaving the Badgers after just one year. The 5-5 freshman has been released from her scholarship, and will transfer to another school this fall. Gorman's father Juan told the Wisconsin State Journal that she didn't see herself growing in the Badger program even though she liked her teammates and the school itself. Gorman had committed to the Badgers as a sophomore, when former coach Lisa Stone recruited her. And Gorman kept her commitment after Stone was fired and Bobbie Kelsey became the new coach. Gorman started one game for the Badgers this past season and played in 26 others. She averaged just over two points in nine and a half minutes. Gorman is the second member of last year's recruiting class to leave. Nicole Elmblad left last spring and joined Michigan.
The Milwaukee Admirals will try to gain more ground in the American Hockey League playoff race tonight, when they host the Houston Aeros. Milwaukee picked up five team points in three games last weekend, to move within four points of the eighth and final post season spot in the Western conference. Houston is on a three game losing streak, and is 0-2 against the Admirals this season. Milwaukee killed 10 straight penalties in its last three games, while scoring at least one power play goal in seven of its last nine contests. The Admirals are 33-27-2-3. Houston is 32-23-3-9.