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.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018 01:01

Steve Alford Weekly Presser

UCLA head basketball coach, Steve Alford, met with the Bruin beat media for his weekly presser. Enjoy!


Reno, Nev. - No. 4 UCLA scored 197.200 to take first place at Elevate the Stage, defeating No. 2 Utah (196.975), Washington (195.725) and Stanford (195.350).

 

The Bruins scored 49.4 on floor exercise and vault and clinched the meet with a 49.375 on uneven bars in the final rotation.

UCLA (4-0) began the meet with a 49.025 on balance beam, led by 9.825 scores by Brielle Nguyen in her UCLA competitive debut, Kyla Ross, and Christine Peng-Peng Lee. Katelyn Ohashi scored 9.8 in her first beam routine of the year, and Grace Glenn and Nia Dennis added 9.75s. Their beam score put the Bruins in third place after one rotation, behind Utah (49.3) and Stanford (49.175).

 

The Bruins took the lead after rotation two thanks to a 49.4 on floor exercise. Gracie Kramer and Ross led off with a pair of 9.9s for the second-straight meet. Ohashi scored 9.825, Dennis went 9.8, and Felicia Hano added a 9.875. Pauline Tratz closed the rotation with the Bruins' third 9.9 to give UCLA a two-event score of 98.425, moving into first place by 0.175 over Stanford after the Cardinal scored 49.075 on vault and 0.325 over Utah after the Utes scored 48.8 on beam.

 

Moving over to vault for rotation three, the Bruins knew they would need to improve upon their season-opening vault total of 48.4 to maintain their lead, and they improved by a full point, scoring 49.4. Sonya Meraz led off with a solid 9.8, and Dennis followed with a 9.85. Napualani Hall hit her Yurchenko 1.5 for a career-high tying 9.9, and Ross and Tratz followed with a pair of 9.875s. Hano matched Hall with a 9.9 on a Yurchenko 1.5, also a career-high, and the Bruins soared into the final rotation with a 147.825-147.550 lead over Utah. 

 

UCLA started strong on uneven bars with a leadoff 9.85 from JaNay Honest and back-to-back 9.825s from Dennis and Meraz. A fall by Katelyn Ohashi put some pressure on the back two, but when the back two are Ross and Lee, who each scored two perfect 10s on bars last year, the Bruins had every reason to remain confident. Ross answered with a 9.95, and Lee clinched the victory with a 9.925 for a team total of 49.375. Utah scored 49.425 on vault, but it was not enough to catch the Bruins.

   

UCLA returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 20 in a dual meet at Arizona.

 

Team Results

1) UCLA 197.200

2) Utah 196.975

3) Washington 195.725

4) Stanford 195.350

 

VAULT Results

1) MyKayla Skinner (Utah) 9.950, Elizabeth Price (Stanford) 9.950

3) Napualani Hall (UCLA) 9.900, Felicia Hano (UCLA) 9.900, MaKenna Merrell-Giles (Utah) 9.900

 

BARS Results

1) Kyla Ross (UCLA) 9.950, MyKayla Skinner (Utah) 9.950

3) Peng-Peng Lee (UCLA) 9.925

 

BEAM Results

1) Elizabeth Price (Stanford) 9.850

2) Brielle Nguyen (UCLA) 9.825, Kyla Ross (UCLA) 9.825, Peng-Peng Lee (UCLA) 9.825, MyKayla Skinner (Utah) 9.825, Lauren Navarro (Stanford) 9.825

 

FLOOR Results

1) MyKayla Skinner (Utah) 9.975

2) MaKenna Merrell-Giles (Utah) 9.950, Elizabeth Price (Stanford) 9.950

 

All-Around Results

1) MyKayla Skinner (Utah) 39.700

2) Elizabeth Price (Stanford) 39.650

3) Kyla Ross (UCLA) 39.550

Sunday, 14 January 2018 16:10

Buffalos Stampede Bruins, 68-59

Welsh T CU 011318UCLA (13-5, 4-2) picked a bad night to come out flat offensively because a motivated Colorado (11-7, 3-3) team came to play, and led from the opening bucket to the buzzer ending the game, defeating the Bruins, 68-59.

“That’s probably as disappointing as we’ve played all year,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said. “Our effort was poor, we were flat. I give Colorado an awful lot of credit that really played hard and executed better.

“Outside of Tom [Welsh] we really just didn’t have much as far as a good concentrated effort. I take responsibility for that. It’s our job as coaches to make sure we are ready to play. And it’s not just that we weren’t ready to play, we had low energy and low effort. That’s hard to watch.

“That was the worst offensively we’ve been all year and again I give Colorado a lot of credit for what they were able to do defensively.”

The Buffalos played with intensity on defense and harassed Bruin point guard Aaron Holiday all night and never really allowed Holiday get into any offensive rhythm and thus UCLA struggled on offense. Case in point, UCLA’s 59 points was their lowest they have scored in a game all season.

“We were 8 of 18 from the line and 5 of 25 from three at home and only scored 59 points,” Alford said. “We weren’t perfect defensively tonight but in the second half, we were really good. Held them to 29 points and 36 percent shooting, we just couldn’t score.

“We got down and missed free throws, they made a layup then we missed one. They hit a wide-open three then we missed a three. There just wasn’t much going for us offensively and once again you have to give Colorado credit.”

The Buffalo defense held the Bruins to shoot 37.1 percent from the floor, 20 percent from beyond the arc and UCLA shot a putrid 44.4 percent from the line.

Thomas Welsh led the Bruins in scoring with 20 while Aaron Holiday and Kris Wilkes contributed 10 points each.

CU received a royal effort from senior guard George King, who had a game-high 26 points and was blistering hot from beyond the three-point arc hitting 6-10 from the three. King also had a game-high 10 boards to earn a double-double.

What makes this loss so perplexing is the Bruins were on a roll and were playing their best basketball of the season. To come out with the type performance UCLA displayed against Colorado is mind-numbing. Alford searches for an explanation.

“We have a lot of young guys going through this for the first time so maybe it’s understanding success,” Alford said. “One of the things we told them was, try to understand, why we did play so well against Utah.

“We had great energy, great effort, good togetherness and fought. We didn’t have any of that tonight. When you don’t do that in league play you’re going to get beat. I thought we were really out of sync offensively probably the entire night.”

The Bruins will be hitting the road and will next play Oregon State (10-7, 2-3) Thursday Evening (Jan.18) in Corvallis. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:00 PM PST and will be televised nationally on Fox Sports 1.

Saturday, 13 January 2018 15:00

Bruins To Welcome Buffs

Wilkes K UWUCLA (13-4, 4-1) will try to keep their momentum going when Colorado (10-7, 2-3) arrives in Pauley Pavilion for a Saturday Evening (Jan. 13) matchup. The Bruins are coming off two very impressive victories against Cal 107-84 and Utah 83-64 and are probably playing their best basketball of the year.

Against Utah, the Bruins shot 51.8 percent from the field, 52.2 percent from beyond the arc and were outstanding at the foul line hitting 86.7 percent.

Four Bruins scored in double-figures against the Utes, led by Aaron Holiday, who had game highs in points (20) and a team-high in assists (6). Holiday is playing as well as anyone in college basketball right now.

Kris Wilkes scored 19 points and had a game-high, four steals. Prince Ali scored 13 points and had a game-high nine rebounds, which is also Ali’s career best. Jaylen Hands scored 12 points off the bench.

The Buffaloes are coming off 70-58 loss to USC and have lost their last seven road games dating back to the 2016-17 season, but their last two home games were wins against ranked teams, Arizona and Arizona State.

The probable starters for CU are freshman guard McKinley Wright IV (6-0, 185) who averages 15.6 points per game. He also leads the team in assists, averaging 5.2 assists per game (apg) and he averages a respectable 4.8 rebounds per game (rpg). Senior guard, George King (6-6, 225 ) averages 13.5 ppg and leads the team in rebounding grabbing 8.2 rpg. Junior guard, Namon Wright (6-5, 205) averages 12.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, and 1.1 apg. Freshman forward, Tyler Bey (6-7, 206) averages 5.1 ppg and 4.5 rpg. Freshman forward Dallas Walton (7-0, 230) averages 4.7 ppg and 3.4 rpg.

Tipoff for the contest is scheduled for 7:36 PM PST and will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network with Roxy Bernstein doing the play-by-play, Bruin great Don MacLean analyzing the action, and Lewis Johnson reporting from the sideline.

UCLA Sports Network from IMG will broadcast the game along your radio dial on the Bruin flagship station AM 570 with Josh Lewin and another UCLA great Tracy Murray performing their usual roles.

Friday, 12 January 2018 15:16

Bruins Roll Utes, 83-64

Wilkes K UU011218UCLA (13-4, 4-1) came out fast playing the kind of basketball they do when things go well, and things did go very well, beating Utah (10-6, 2-3) very solidly, 83-64.

The Bruins took good, open shots and it showed on the stat sheet. UCLA shot 51.8 percent from the field, 52.2 percent from beyond the arc and was outstanding from the foul line hitting 86.7 percent from the charity stripe.

UCLA was dominating from the beginning of the game never looking back. GG Golomon hit his first, which was a three and then from that opening basket, UCLA never trailed. Utah made a good run to get within three points in the first-half, but the Bruins closed out strong to lead, 41-33 at the break

“Extremely pleased as I thought we played some really good basketball tonight,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said. “We had good effort as we played great to start the game, great start to end the half, great start to the second half and great start to end the game. Those are the things you have to do to win.

“Can you start both halves and end both halves? I thought those four four-minute segments were huge. How we start the half, how we closed the half and how we started the second half were going to make it really difficult for them. I thought we were active defensively. Offensively, we took care of the ball, took good shots and made them.”

Four Bruins scored in double-figures, led by the amazing Aaron Holiday, who had game highs in points (20) and a team-high in assists (6).

“There are not many players in the nation better than him [Holiday],” Alford said. “He’s controlling the game now. I think where he has really grown in his feel of the game, of how you can take over a game, other than just scoring. He’s doing that.

“Not only did he have 20 points and six assists, but he is guarding [Utah’s Justin] Bibbins. It’s not like we have to put him somewhere else to conserve energy or try to keep him out of foul trouble. He’s really smart and goes about his business. He started the season slow shooting the basketball and now they’re starting to go in like they were his first two years.

“Aaron does a lot of good things for us. He’s been extremely coachable over the years and he’s just grown and matured. He’s really helping our young guys a lot.”

Though Holiday is the straw that mixes the drink there are other ingredients that are helping this team win. Against Utah, Kris Wilkes scored 19 points and had a game-high, four steals. Prince Ali scored 13 points and had a game-high nine rebounds, which is also Ali’s career best. Jaylen Hands scored 12 points off the bench.

This UCLA team keeps getting better on both ends of the floor. Two of their losses this season, Michigan and Stanford were winnable games.

The Bruins will welcome the other team from the mountainsColorado (10-7, 2-3) this coming Saturday, Jan. 13. Tipoff in Pauley Pavilion is scheduled for 7:30 PM PST and will be televised by the Pac-12 Network.

Thursday, 11 January 2018 15:12

Thomas Welsh Meets the Press

UCLA senior big Thomas Welsh met with the Bruin beat media to discuss the mask he's been wearing since the Stanford game. He was on fire against Cal, mask and all. Welsh also talks about the upcoming Utah game. Enjoy!


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