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.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017 15:12

UCLA To Host South Dakota

Welsh T USC030917UCLA (7-3) will try to end a two-game losing streak when the Bruins welcome South Dakota (11-3) for a contest held in Pauley Pavilion, Tuesday Evening, December 19, 2017. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:00 PM PST.

Turnovers have hampered the Bruin the last two games that have ended up in losses. Both Michigan and Cincinnati played an aggressive pressure defense that created problems for UCLA.

The Bearcats added a wrinkle to their defense by double-teaming UCLA big man, Thomas Welsh and the Bruin offense was squelched leading to an 18-0 run that UCLA never recovered from.

In the two losses, the Bruins were outscored by double-figures, in points scored off of turnovers. If the Bruins are going to get back on the winning track, they going to have to take care of the basketball.

Against the Bearcats, UCLA had three players that scored in double-figures. Aaron Holiday scored 17 points, Jaylen Hands added 14 points off the bench and Kris Wilkes chipped in 12 points.

The glaring omission from that list was Welsh. It will help UCLA’s cause if Welsh gets more touches and if he gets doubled then the Bruins have to make the defense pay by hitting the open man for an easy deuce.

South Dakota is coached by Craig Smith, who is in his fourth year at the helm. Last time out the Coyotes (pronounced ki-YOTES), took care of business against San Jose State, 76-62.

The Coyotes were 22-12 in 2016-17 and were 12-4 during conference play. Good enough to take the Summit League’s regular-season title.

Under the leadership of fourth-year head coach Craig Smith, the Coyotes have gone 11-3 this season, including Sunday night's victory at San Jose. Junior guard Matt Mooney is South Dakota’s leading scorer, averaging 17.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. Junior forward Tyler Hagedorn is South Dakota's only other player currently averaging at least 10.0 points per game (14.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg in 14 games).

The game will be televised by the Pac-12 Network Alex Faust handling the play-by-play and former UCLA coach Steve Lavin analyzing the action.

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

Tuesday, 19 December 2017 00:29

Jedd Fisch Weekly Presser

UCLA interim head football coach, Jedd Fisch, met with the Bruin beat media to catch everyone up with the latest on the program. Fisch talks about the challenges the team has had to face over the last four weeks, UCLA's bowl opponent, Kansas State and more. Enjoy!

Sunday, 17 December 2017 15:05

Bearcats Get Defensive Against Bruins

Holiday ACincyThe same problem that UCLA (7-3) had in the second-half against Michigan reared its ugly head once again in the first-half against No. 23 Cincinnati (9-2). The Bruins because of a pressure defense by the Bearcats turned the ball over that led to an 18-0 run that the Bruins were never able to recover, losing the game 77-63.

The Bearcats outscored the Bruins 23-11 on points caused by turnovers. There aren’t many teams that are going to be able to overcome that.

“You have to give credit to Cincinnati because that’s where they hang their hat,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said. “They’re an outstanding defensive team. They are big, strong and physical. So you give them a lot of credit.

“You can’t turn the ball over 18 times, 15 in the first half, that’s equating to 30 turnovers a game. But in the second half, it was even, we played them even and the difference was turnovers. They didn’t allow us to score a point for seven minutes. I haven’t watched the tape but I bet we had a bucket-load of turnovers during that stretch.

“So we aren’t giving your offense a chance. Then you’re giving a team like Cincinnati that doesn’t run a lot, but they do run on our mistakes. I thought our defense did some really good things, they just scored a lot of their points on our miscues offensively. We’re talking about ball handling and ill-advised passes. So those are some things that we have to fix and shape up quickly.”

Even though the Bruins went through a drought of scoring in the first-half much of that was due to Cincinnati’s tenacious defense that frustrated the team.

The Bearcats doubled Thomas Welsh in the first-half and he never had his shooting rhythm throughout the game, but that didn’t deter this young Bruin team. They didn’t quit. They fought hard. This a young team that has had to face a lot of off-court adversity, yet this is a determined group that has the potential to be a solid team down the road.

“I’m really proud of our effort,” Alford said. “That’s a really good basketball team with grown men. We have some young guys that will really grow from this. We just had a really tough first half handling the basketball, kind of like the second half against Michigan.”

“If you take away the second half at Michigan and the first half here against Cincinnati, in terms of turnovers, it puts us in a different position. You get the same amount of offensive rebounds and the same amount of total rebounds against this Cincinnati team, I’m ecstatic about that. Shot attempts were about the same, you make 11 3-pointers against this team, that doesn’t happen very often.

“I just thought the difference was turnovers. That beat us by 12 points on turnovers, but it felt like more. They beat us by 14 overall and 12 of those were off of turnovers. So the whole difference in that game was pass-catch, ball movement.

“Our offense has to catch up but defensively we are really growing and maturing. I told the team in the locker room that we are starting to trust each other defensively and that’s good. Our offense has got to catch up with that same kind of trust.”

UCLA had three players that scored in double-figures led by Aaron Holiday who scored 17 points, Jaylen Hands added 14 points off the bench and Kris Wilkes chipped in 12 points.

The Bruins have a couple of days to work on their game before returning to action against South Dakota on Tuesday, Dec. 19, in Pauley Pavilion. Game time is 6:00 PM PST. The game will be televised by the Pac-12 Network.

Saturday, 16 December 2017 16:26

Bruins Ready To Host Bearcats

Holiday A PortUCLA (7-2) welcomes No. 23 ranked Cincinnati (8-2) to Pauley Pavilion to face on Saturday, Dec. 16. It will be the first time these two schools have ever squared off against each in the hallowed arena in Westwood.

The Bruins knocked Cincinnati out of the NCAA tournament last March with a 79-67, second round victory. UCLA and Cincinnati have gone 2-2 against each other in the all-time series.

The Bearcats bring back an experienced group, seven of Cincinnati's nine players who saw action against the Bruins, in the NCAA Tournament game last season are back for the Bearcats. Junior Jacob Evans III (14.2 ppg) and senior Gary Clark (12.8 ppg) have been the team's top two scorers through the Bearcats' first 10 games. 

Cincinnati is coached by Mick Cronin, who is in his 12th season at the helm. Under Cronin’s guidance, the Bearcats have played in the NCAA Tournament the last seven years.

Last time out, the Bruins led much of the game on the road, against a good and well coached Michigan team but end up losing in overtime, 78-69.

The cause of that loss; UCLA was very sloppy with the basketball. With a season-high 20 turnovers, Michigan outscored UCLA by 10 in points off of turnovers, and that margin was the difference between winning and losing.

Aaron Holiday scored a career-high, 27 points against Michigan, while Thomas Welsh tied his career best, 22 points and had a game-high 10 boards, to record his sixth double-double of the season.

The game will be nationally televised on CBS Brad Nessler handling the play-by-play, Bill Raftery analyzing the game, and John Schriffen reporting from the sideline.

UCLA Sports Network from IMG will broadcast the contest on their flagship station AM 570 with Josh Lewin and UCLA all-time great, Tracy Murray performing their usual duties.

Saturday, 16 December 2017 14:31

Thomas Welsh Talks Shooting Threes

UCLA senior big man, Thomas Welsh, talks about adding the three-point shot to his resume. He currently has the best three-point shooting percentage on the team. He talks about the two remaining teammates on suspension and more.

Saturday, 16 December 2017 14:25

Kris Wilkes Ready To Go Forward

UCLA true freshman, Kris Wilkes, talks about playing in his first true road game and he learned. He talks about shooting on the college level opposed to high school, shooting free throws and a whole lot more. Enjoy!

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