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, 19 February 2018 15:11

UCLA Edged by Utah, 197.550-197.425

LOS ANGELES - Out-of-bounds deductions on floor exercise in the final rotation cost No. 2 UCLA in a 197.550-197.425 dual meet loss to No. 3 Utah.

 

Over 11,000 fans in Pauley Pavilion watched the Pac-12's top teams battle to the very end. The teams were tied after three rotations, with UCLA ending on floor exercise and Utah finishing on balance beam. Utah hit six-for-six, scoring 49.4 on beam, but the Bruins had three of its first four gymnasts step out of bounds on floor, dropping their total to 49.275.

 

UCLA kept fighting, however, ending the meet with back-to-back 9.975s from Felicia Hano and Katelyn Ohashi.  

"I liked seeing the grit that this team has," said UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field. "They kept fighting to the end. Even with the mistakes they made, they didn't give up in the middle of a routine, but we just had way too many snafus."

 

Strong leadoff performances gave UCLA the edge in the first half of the meet, as Nia Dennis posted career-high numbers to start on both vault and floor. Dennis' vault, a 9.95-valued Yurchenko layout full, merited a deduction-free 9.95 to start the meet. Her score, along with Pauline Tratz's career-high 9.925 that immediately followed, lifted the Bruins to a team total of 49.450, its highest of the night. Utah started on uneven bars with a 49.300. 

 

Dennis had another winning leadoff routine in rotation two, scoring a career-best and meet-winning 9.925 on uneven bars. Katelyn Ohashi followed her with a season-high 9.9, but the Bruins were unable to keep up the pace, with the remaining four team members scoring below their average. UCLA's score of 49.3 was matched by Utah, who totaled 49.3 on vault.

With UCLA up by .150 at the halfway mark, Utah got stronger, scoring 49.55 on floor exercise, led by MyKayla Skinner's 9.975. The Utes had four-floor routines score 9.9 or higher. UCLA put up a strong 49.4 on balance beam, led by Ohashi's 9.925 and Madison Kocian's 9.9 but left points on the table with uncharacteristic mistakes. Kyla Ross hopped on her dismount after performing what looked to be a perfect routine, giving her a score of 9.875, and Christine Peng-Peng Lee, who was coming off two-straight perfect 10s on beam, bent at the waist on her double turn and scored 9.8.

 

It came down to Utah on beam versus UCLA on floor, and while the Utes were smooth and steady with a pair of 9.925s and three other scores of 9.825 or better, the Bruins were shaky. Gracie Kramer and Dennis stepped out of bounds on their first tumbling passes, and Tratz took a step back on her last tumbling pass. Hano and Ohashi's nearly perfect routines ended the meet on a good note but were not enough to catch Utah.

 

The Bruins will next host Oregon State on Sunday, Feb. 25 at 3 pm in Pauley Pavilion. Tickets are on sale now at uclabruins.com/tickets.

 

Team Results

1) Utah 197.550

2) UCLA 197.425

VAULT Results

1) MyKayla Skinner (Utah) 9.950, Nia Dennis (UCLA) 9.950

3) Pauline Tratz (UCLA) 9.925, Felicia Hano (UCLA) 9.925

 

BARS Results

1) Nia Dennis (UCLA) 9.925

2) Katelyn Ohashi (UCLA) 9.900, MaKenna Merrell-Giles (Utah) 9.900, Kim Tessen (Utah) 9.900

 

BEAM Results

1) Katelyn Ohashi (UCLA) 9.925, MaKenna Merrell-Giles (Utah) 9.925, MyKayla Skinner (Utah) 9.925

FLOOR Results

1) Felicia Hano (UCLA) 9.975, Katelyn Ohashi (UCLA) 9.975, MyKayla Skinner (Utah) 9.975

 

All-Around Results

1) MyKayla Skinner (Utah) 39.625

2) MaKenna Merrell-Giles (Utah) 39.525

3) Kari Lee (Utah) 39.500

Sunday, 18 February 2018 15:47

Bruins Sweep Homestand

UCLA Huddle OUIt wasn’t easy. It was a game of highs and lows. It took an overtime to achieve, but UCLA (19-8, 10-5) was able to secure a sweep for their last homestand of the season over an upset-minded gritty Oregon (17-10, 7-7) team, 86-78.

“Obviously, we’re really proud of our guys,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said. “I thought they really battled. It was a typical game that we have with Oregon, a typical game that Dana (Altman) and I have had over our careers. It’s always hard-fought, and the flow of the games come and go. Different teams make different runs. I just thought we handled it.

“We had major foul trouble and played the first half without Aaron (Holiday) and then built an 11-point lead but had to take him out with four fouls with about 11 minutes to go. He did a tremendous job playing the last seven minutes with four fouls. He’s just a special player. He makes play after play.

“Tom (Welsh) for his entire career just gives you so much consistency. Again tonight 14 (points) and 14 (rebound), a couple of assists, a few blocks.

“I thought Prince (Ali) really gave us a big lift off the bench that was much needed. And I thought Kris Wilkes did some really good things with his length. I thought he was really good in a lot of ways.

“Just a good, gritty win. We separated ourselves by a couple games now from other teams, so that’s good.”

Not only does the victory set up the all-important last road trip of the season, but it was also a fitting way to say goodbye to the seniors who meant so much to the program.

Thomas Welsh was asked after the game what it was like to get a win for his last home game as a Bruin.

“I really can’t put it into words,” Welsh said. “My time here has been a dream come true. It’s been more than I could’ve asked for. To be able to finish like that with a win, with my family all here, it really doesn’t get any better than that. I’m so grateful to the UCLA family and everything all the people here have done. It’s just been incredible, really.”

Holiday and Welsh led the way for the Bruins. Holiday led all scorers with 29 points. Welsh recorded his 16th double-double of the season scoring 14 points, including a huge three-pointer, which would ultimately be his last made shot on Pauley Pavilion as a Bruin. Welsh also had 14 boards.

“It’s special,” Welsh said. “To have that last shot be a made three in overtime at Pauley—it’s pretty dang special. It’s going to be something I remember for a very, very long time. It’s just really awesome.”

Kris Wilkes went for 19 points and Prince Ali was solid off the bench adding 11 to help the Bruins get the win.

Now the Bruins hit the road for the final three games of the regular season and are within one game of the magical 20 victories, an almost prerequisite if a team gets selected to participate in March Madness.

It’s not going to be easy as the first two games on the road will be going to the mountain schools where the air is thin and then the final game will be against USC at Galen Center.

The Bruins will tipoff against Utah this coming Thursday at 6:00 PM PST and the contest will be televised by ESPN. Then UCLA will head to Boulder for a rare Sunday contest against Colorado. Tipoff will be 1:00 PM PST and will be televised by ESPNU.

Saturday, 17 February 2018 15:52

GG Golomon One More Time Around

UCLA senior forward, GG Golomon, will be honored Saturday Evening with other seniors associated with the program. Golomon talks about his long journey to UCLA and talks about his time on the Bruin campus. Enjoy!


Saturday, 17 February 2018 15:38

Bruins Host Ducks On Senior Night

Welsh T SU012718UCLA (18-8, 9-5) will welcome Oregon (17-9, 7-6) for the last home game of the season. Both the Bruins and the Ducks are in need of a victory. Both schools are within the magical number of 20 wins. It appears that 20 victories are a prerequisite for participation in the NCAA Tournament.

The Bruins had to grind out a victory against Oregon State that saw them shooting 39 percent from the field, 19 percent from beyond the three-point arc and went ice cold from the foul line in the second half hitting only 45.8 percent (11-24) after hitting 11-12 from the charity stripe in the first-half.

When the Bruins do that poorly from the line especially from the line it usually ended up in a loss. The Michigan and Stanford games come to mind. UCLA will have to get back on track at the foul line.

What helped the Bruins in victory as they outrebounded the Beavers 51-33 and had 18 boards off the offensive glass against only six for Oregon State. That was the difference between winning and losing.

The Bruins had four players scoring in double figures, including the two vets Aaron Holiday and Thomas Welsh, both notching double-doubles.

Holiday served up his second double-double of the season scoring a team-high 17 points and a game-high 10 assists. Welsh added double-double No. 15, scoring 15 points and tallying 17 rebounds, nine of which came off the offensive glass. Prince Ali scored 11 points off the bench and Kris Wilkes added 10.

Oregon is coming off a heartbreaking loss to USC 72-70 that was nip and tuck all night long with the Trojans prevailing.

The last time the Bruins played the Ducks, UCLA started out the game cold as ice and sloppy. The Bruins came out in the second-half and truly made a game of it.

UCLA was getting handled by the Ducks 81-69 with six minutes to play. Then the Bruins went into gear cutting the lead to 88-87 with 1:09 remaining. UCLA’s rally came up short losing to the Ducks, 94-91.

Before the contest, the Bruins will have their annual Fan Appreciation Night and the program will honor their seniors.

The men's basketball program is encouraging fans to arrive by 7:00 PM PST, as seniors; Thomas Welsh, György "G.G." Goloman, Alec Wulff, and Ikenna Okwarabizie will take center stage and be honored for a job well done. The Bruins will also recognize student athletic trainer Kaviyon Sadrolashrafi, student video coordinator Joe Preston and student managers Sam Schmall and Nick Griffin.

Tipoff is scheduled for 7:15 PM PST and will be televised nationally on ESPN with Dave Pasch doing the play-by-play and UCLA great Bill Walton analyzing the action.

UCLA Sports Network from IMG will broadcast the game locally on AM 570 Josh Lewin and another Bruin great Tracy Murray performing their usual roles.

Friday, 16 February 2018 15:37

Bruins Grind Out Win

Holiday A OSU021518UCLA (18-8, 9-5) was able to grind out, a hard-fought victory over a tough-minded Oregon State (13-12, 5-8) team, 75-68. The Bruins need to win games like this one. A game where shots aren’t falling, but still find a way to be victorious.

Usually, when the Bruins play offensively they way they played Thursday Night against the Beavers they lose. It looked like Bruins came to play and quickly jumped out to a 13-point lead, but that quickly evaporated like water neath the warm Southern California sun.

UCLA only shot 39 percent from the field, an even icier 19 percent from beyond the three-point arc and went ice cold from the foul line in the second half hitting only 45.8 percent (11-24) after hitting 11-12 from the charity stripe in the first-half.

The above stat line, especially from the foul line usually portends of a losing effort for the Bruins.

Undeterred by the cold shooting night, the Bruins still had four players scoring in double figures, including the two vets Aaron Holiday and Thomas Welsh, both notching double-doubles.

Holiday served up his second double-double of the season scoring a team-high 17 points and a game-high 10 assists. Welsh added double-double No. 15, scoring 15 points and tallying 17 rebounds, nine of which came off the offensive glass. Prince Ali scored 11 points off the bench and Kris Wilkes added 10.

The last UCLA home game of the season comes this Saturday Evening against Oregon. Tipoff scheduled for 7:15 PM PST. It should be a festive affair being that the Bruins will have their annual Fan Appreciation Night and will honor all of the team’s seniors, players, and management alike. The game will be televised on ESPN.

Thursday, 15 February 2018 15:24

Thomas Welsh Reflects On UCLA

UCLA senior big, Thomas Welsh, met with the Bruin beat media to discuss the coming homestand and more poignantly his last in a UCLA uniform. Welsh reflects on is time at UCLA and his basketball career as a Bruin. Enjoy!


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