Rick Kimbrel

Rick Kimbrel

Rick Kimbrel, the former managing editor of PrepStar magazine, is nationally recognized as one of the leading authorities on college football recruiting. The veteran analyst and reporter was key in first making Blue Chip Illustrated and then PrepStar Magazine a recruiting publication standard.

Kimbrel has written for CBS Sportsline, ESPN.com, CNN-SI, The Sporting News, Athlon's, Lindy's, Football News, and numerous other publications. He has also consulted on All-America teams for Parade Magazine and Street and Smith's. Most recently, Rick was the West Coast Recruiting Editor for Rivals.com, national recruiting consultant for Rivals.com and publisher of BruinBlitz.com.

Rick has been a featured guest on many television shows around the nation including Prime Ticket, Fox Sports, Fox Sports West, CNN, CNN-SI and numerous local and regional stations. Kimbrel is also a highly sought after guest on radio broadcasts from coast-to-coast.

Monday, 20 November 2017 15:15

On the Road Again For UCLA Hoops

UCLA Hoops UCAIt’s back on the road again for UCLA (3-0) to play an undefeated Creighton (3-0) team in Kansas City, MO., in the Hall Of Fame Classic. The Bruins have held on their national ranking of 18 in the Coaches Poll and 23 in the AP.

UCLA is coming off a tough road trip to China and before they could get their sea legs back played two games at Pauley with only one day’s rest between the games in Westwood.

UCLA's success during the controversy in China, and winning games when not fully rested, tends to help a team get mental toughness. Now UCLA’s mettle will be tested once again.

The growth of true freshmen guards Jaylen Hands and Kris Wilkes has been outstanding. Hands led UCLA in scoring against South Carolina State with a career-best, 22 points. Wilkes led the Bruins in scoring against Georgia Tech and was second in scoring against Central Arkansas.

The Bruins have outstanding veteran leadership with junior point guard Aaron Holiday and senior center Thomas Welsh. The Bruin big man is coming off two straight double-doubles.

What makes this team intriguing is its blend veterans and youth. Five players that are getting serious minutes didn’t play on last season’s Sweet 16 team.

Besides Hands and Wilkes, the Bruins are getting productive minutes out of freshman guard Chris Smith and redshirt sophomores, forward Alex Olesinski and guard Prince Ali.

Creighton’s three victories have been over Yale 92-76, Alcorn State 109-72 and No. 20 Northwestern 92-88.

The Bluejays return nine lettermen from a team that won 25 games and made to the Big East Tournament final and their fourth NCAA Tournament invite in six seasons.

Creighton is led by senior guard Marcus Foster (6-3, 205) who is averaging 19.3 points per game (ppg) while hitting on 60.6 percent of his shots. He was a unanimous First Team All-BIG EAST pick last season when he averaged 18.2 ppg.

Junior guard Khyri Thomas (6-3, 210) comes into the game averaging 17.7 ppg and was named an Honorable Mention Preseason All-BIG EAST choice in October. Thomas was named BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year last season and scored a career-high 24 points in the win at Northwestern.

Sophomore forward Martin Krampelj (6-9, 220) has been solid averaging 12.0 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.

The Bluejays have a talented duo that is true freshmen in Mitch Ballock (6-5, 205) who chips in 8.7 ppg and Ty-Shon Alexander (6-4, 195) adds 8.0 ppg.

Creighton, as a team, is averaging 97.7 points per game this season, and are shooting 55.4 percent from the floor. The Bluejays are an outstanding 43.2 percent from beyond the arc.

CU is also tough on the glass and owns a +8.7 rebound margin and 57/39 assist/turnover ratio to date.

Tipoff is Monday evening at 4:00 PM PST and the venue will be the Sprint Center. The game will be nationally televised on ESPNU. Clay Matvick will do the play-by-play and Fran Fraschilla will analyze the action

UCLA Sports Network from IMG will broadcast the game on AM 1150 with Josh Lewin and UCLA all-time great Tracy Murray performing in their usual roles.

UCLA will play either Baylor or Wisconsin on Tuesday evening. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:30 PM PST.

Monday, 20 November 2017 02:05

Jim Mora Statement

Mora J 355 "I would like to thank Dan Guerrero and the University administration for giving me the chance to work at a great institution for the past six years. Coaching student-athletes at UCLA has been the most rewarding experience of my career, and I know the future is bright for the program.

"We also had a great group of outstanding coaches who deserve thanks for their efforts. They’re not only great coaches, but they also care deeply about our student-athletes, and they worked extremely hard to help our team reach its full potential, both on and off the field. 

"Most importantly, I want to thank the student-athletes that I’ve had the privilege to work with. You’ve been an inspiration to me, and I’ll carry great memories of our times together the rest of my life.

"Finally, I want to wish continued success to UCLA and its football program. With the opening of the new facilities and a groundwork laid for excellence, I firmly believe there are great times ahead.

"Again, thank you for the opportunity to be the head football coach at UCLA. It has truly been an honor.

 

 -Jim Mora

Sunday, 19 November 2017 16:45

Bruins Fall Short, 28-23

Lasley J USCTo the victors, goes the bell, and for another long season, the Victory Bell will be painted in cardinal red. UCLA (5-6, 3-5) had their chances but just couldn’t quite make it happen. USC (10-2, 8-1) wins the city of Los Angels Championship 28-23.

Both teams were penalized for over 100 yards, but even though, the game was filled with action and not a fan left their seats to beat the infamous L.A. traffic until the whistle blew.

In the end of this roller coaster of a game, it was a trick special teams play in the first-quarter that made all the difference.

The Trojans faked like they were setting up to return the ball on the Bruins left side, USC junior cornerback Ajene Harris even faked a fair catch but Stefan Flintoft’s punt went to the right, where speedy wide receiver Michael Pittman made the catch and only had to beat two Bruin defenders, one of then Flintoft, while the rest of the Bruins defenders went for the fake. It was a beautifully designed play. UCLA played catch-up the rest of the way.

As before mentioned, the Bruins had their chances to win this game, but just couldn’t get the job done.

“We knew we had to play our best to have a chance to win,” UCLA head coach Jim Mora said. “They played hard and fought to the bitter end. I’m very proud of them. Unfortunately, we made some mistakes and they made some plays that prohibited us from winning.

“Obviously there were special teams issues. Not being able to convert the field goal. Certainly, the punt return where they fooled us. And the onside kick there. That was supposed to be a bloop 20 yards over. JJ (Molson) knew what he was supposed to do but hit his toe and miss-hit the ball.

“It’s nothing I’m pinning on anyone. And we didn’t protect the ball well enough and uncharacteristically of us, we did not do well in the red zone. Usually, in tight games like this it comes down to those type of variables and we were not able to get it done.

“It’s a very disappointed team in there. I commend them for their energy and effort and the way they worked all week. I expect them to bring the same effort next week at the Rose Bowl. It’s been a tough season, obviously and we’ve had to overcome tremendous (adversity) on defense in terms of personnel. They will continue to fight back and the next guy will step up.”

The loss will overshadow a strong defensive performance that held USC 3.7 yards per rush. They held the Trojans to a season-low 153 rushing yards. When you consider what other teams have been able to rack up this season that was an improvement.

Junior quarterback Josh Rosen was fabulous for most of the night. He made one huge mistake getting picked in the end zone, but that stuff is bound to happen when you throw the ball, 52 times. Rosen completed 32 of them and could have had a few more, but there were a few drops. He still threw for over 400 [421] yards for the fourth time this season, fifth time in his career and three touchdowns.

Junior receiver, Jordon Lasley, was absolutely outstanding. He had career highs in receiving yards [204] and touchdown receptions [3] in a single game.

Junior running back Soso Jamabo rushed for 62 yards and added 41 receiving yards. Sophomore receiver, Theo Howard had a career-high 11 receptions to go with 81 yards.

Now the Bruins must beat Cal Friday Evening in the Rose Bowl, where UCLA has been undefeated this season. A win against the Bears will get the Bruins bowl eligible. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 PM PST.

Saturday, 18 November 2017 15:38

Bruins Head To Coliseum

UCLA USC112815Every year when UCLA (5-5, 3-4) plays USC (9-2, 7-1) the city of Los Angels is abuzz with excitement. Whoever wins this game gets possession of the Victory Bell, due to USC’s convincing 36-14 victory, the bell is in the Trojan’s hands.

Since the two teams have been playing for the bell, USC has won 40 times, UCLA 21 and there have been four ties. For the entirety of the series, the Trojans have won 46 of the contests, the Bruins have won are 31, meaning UCLA won the first time the two teams played for the bell.

What makes this rivalry so special is how many of the games have been thrillers that go down to the wire and fans of both teams go through an emotional roller coaster.

While it sounds like some cheap cliche, you really can throw the records out the window when these two teams meet. Who can forget when an undermanned Bruin team knocked the Trojans out of the National Championship game in 2006? Maybe Trojan fans would like to forget that game, but they still feel the pain of that loss today.

Many times in this series an unexpected player ends up being the hero. Older fans remember in 1966 when Norman Dow, who played in place of an injured Gary Beban, led the Bruins to a 14-7 victory over the Trojans.

Remember John Barnes hitting J.J. Stokes, time and time again to beat the Trojans 38-37. This was the second victory in what become the longest winning streak in the history of the series. UCLA would eventually win a total of eight straight.

This game will showcase two of the best quarterbacks in all of college football in UCLA’s Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold. This matchup alone is worth the price of admission.

Who will end up going down as the game’s hero, will be known sometime tomorrow evening. Because of weaknesses in both defenses, this game could end up a good old-fashioned shootout.

The contest will be played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, at one time the home field for both schools. The kickoff is scheduled for 5:00 PM PST and will be televised by ABC with Chris Fowler doing the play-by-play, Kirk Herbstreit analyzing the action and  Maria Taylor will be reporting from the sideline.

If you are stuck on one of many of the Los Angles Area freeways you can catch the game on radio broadcasted by UCLA Sports Network from IMG College and will be carried on either AM 1150 or AM 57 with Josh Lewin and the quarterbacks Matt Stevens and Wayne Cook performing their usual roles.

ESPN Radio will also call with Bill Rosinski, David Norrie, and Ian Fitzsimmons behind the mics.

Saturday, 18 November 2017 15:32

Mossi Johnson Man For All Positions

Senior, Mossi Johnson is one of those athletes who do well at a lot of things making it hard a coaching staff to decide where to play him. Johnson has played receiver, defensive back, and special teams. The young man talks about his versatility, playing in rivalry games and more. Enjoy!


Saturday, 18 November 2017 15:16

Stefan Flintoft From Walk-On To Captain

In one of the feel-good stories of the year for the Bruins, junior punter, Stefan Flintoft, earned a scholie after being a walk-on and is now a team captain. Flintoft talks about the honor, playing in the rivalry game and more. Enjoy!


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