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.

Saturday, 03 February 2018 15:55

UCLA To Host USC In Key Showdown

Holiday A USC030916For true UCLA (15-7, 6-4) and USC (17-6, 8-2) fans, you wouldn’t want any other way when the two teams meet in any sport. When there is something on the line, and the outcome means something, makes this historic rivalry even more special.

Both the Bruins and the Trojans come to the contest with winning streaks. The Trojans have won six straight and are currently in second-place during conference play. The Bruins have won two in a row and hope to close out their three-game homestand with another win.

UCLA feels they have left a couple of wins on the table when that happens poor foul shooting and giving up second-chance points are major contributors.

When the Bruins get to the line, rebound well and have ball movement they can compete with just about anyone. As UCLA coach Steve Alford made abundantly clear during his press conference earlier in the week, the Bruins need come with their A-game, anything less will not suffice.

The Trojans are an experienced team that has four members that average in double figures and they rebound well as a team. This group is off to USC’s best start since 2002 when they also started conference play at 8-2. USC’s six-game winning streak is the longest in conference since 1992 when the Trojans rolled off nine straight wins.

USC has an outstanding point guard in senior, Jordan McLaughlin (6-1, 185). He is averaging 12.6 point per game (ppg) and dishes out 4.3 assists per game.

Junior forward, Chimezie Menu (6-11, 225) leads the Trojans in scoring and rebounding contributing 16.0 ppg and 7.3 rpg. Junior forward, Bennie Boatwright is next averaging 15.1 ppg and 6.9 rpg. Boatwright has missed his last two because of a sore foot and will be a game-time decision.

The fourth Trojan who averages in double-figures is senior guard, Elijah Stewart (6-5, 195) who chips in 11.0 ppg.

Both UCLA and USC likes to get out and run, so this game could end up looking like a track meet.

Tipoff is scheduled for 3 PM PST and will be televised nationally with Dave Pasch handling the play-by-play and all-time Bruin great Bill Walton analyzing the action.

UCLA Sports Network from IMG will broadcast the game locally in the Los Angeles area on AM 1150 with Josh Lewin doing the play-by-play and another Bruins great, Tracy Murray in the analyst chair.

Friday, 02 February 2018 15:13

Thomas Welsh Ready To Go

UCLA senior big, Thomas Welsh, deserves a Purple Heart. He has been playing banged up ever since conference play. Welsh talks about his injuries and assures the media that he is ready to go. USC is also a main topic of conversation. Enjoy!


Friday, 02 February 2018 02:29

Steve Alford Weekly Presser

UCLA head basketball coach, Steve Alford, met with the press for his weekly press conference and since it is rivalry week, much of the discussion was on USC and the coming game. Enjoy!


Friday, 02 February 2018 00:39

No. 1 Oklahoma at No. 4 UCLA

No. 1 Oklahoma at No. 4 UCLA

Date/Time: Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018 – 1 p.m. (PT)

Location: Los Angeles, Calif. (Pauley Pavilion)

Television: ESPN

TV Talent: Bart Conner (play-by-play), Kathy Johnson-Clarke (analyst), Holly Rowe (sideline)

Live Stats:uclabruins.com

Tickets: $12 (UCLA students are free)

Ticket Promotion: Free admission with ticket from Feb. 2 UCLA women's basketball game or Feb. 3 UCLA men’s basketball game

Giveaways: Teal pom poms to first 5,000 fans, teal wristbands to first 1,000 fans

 

UCLA HOSTS OKLAHOMA ON SUPER BEAM SUNDAY

No. 4 UCLA (8-0) returns home after a three-week road swing to host No. 1 Oklahoma (3-1) on Sunday, Feb. 4. The meet will take place at 1pm in Pauley Pavilion and will be televised live on ESPN, with 1984 Olympic medalists Bart Conner and Kathy Johnson-Clarke calling the action and Holly Rowe serving as the sideline reporter. This is the first-ever NCAA regular season dual meet televised live on ESPN. 

 

TOGETHER WE RISE

At the conclusion of Sunday’s meet, UCLA will pay tribute to sexual assault survivors and the brave women who recently came forward to help cultivate change, several of whom were UCLA gymnasts. Teal pom poms for the first 5,000 fans in attendance and teal “Together We Rise” wristbands for the first 1,000 fans will be distributed.     

 

FAN ADVISORY

Sunday’s meet will begin promptly at 1 pm, with the first vault scheduled for 1:01 pm. Fans are advised to arrive early. Doors open at 12 pm, and pre-meet festivities begin at 12:40 pm. The national anthem at 12:45 pm will be sung by UCLA gymnast Christine Peng-Peng Lee, undergraduate assistant coach Hallie Mossett, and former team member Alex Waller.

Pauley Pavilion has a clear bag policy. One large clear bag, either a one gallon Ziploc style bag or a 12’ by 6” by 12” clear bag, or a small clutch may be allowed into the arena. Increased screening through the use of electronic security equipment will be used at all entry gates. For more information, visit www.uclabruins.com/pauleygamedayinfo.          

 

TICKETS/PROMOTIONS

Tickets for UCLA home meets are on sale now at the UCLA Central Ticket Office and at Ticketmaster. UCLA students are free with ID and eligible to win a raffle prize each home meet. This week’s prize is a 40” television. Teal pom poms will be distributed to the first 5,000 fans in attendance, and “Together We Rise” teal wristbands will be distributed to the first 1,000 fans.        

 

MEET OF CHAMPIONS

The matchup between UCLA and Oklahoma will feature two teams that have won a combined nine NCAA titles. UCLA is a six-time NCAA champion, having won titles in 1997, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2010. Oklahoma has won its three NCAA titles within the last four years, sharing the crown in 2014 and winning outright in 2016 and 2017. All of the teams’ titles were won under the current head coaches, UCLA’s Valorie Kondos Field and Oklahoma’s K.J. Kindler. Each team won two NCAA individual titles last year. UCLA’s Kyla Ross and Oklahoma’s Maggie Nichols and Nicole Lehrmann tied for first on uneven bars at the 2017 championship, and Ross also won balance beam outright.      

 

TOP 3 TAKEDOWNS 

No. 4-ranked UCLA already boasts wins over No. 2 LSU and No. 3 Utah, with No. 1 Oklahoma next up on the docket this weekend. The Bruins’ two wins over LSU and Utah came on a neutral floor, with UCLA winning over LSU at the Metroplex Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas on Jan. 27 and over Utah at Elevate the Stage in Reno, Nev. on Jan. 14.      

 

BRUINS WIN METROPLEX CHALLENGE 

UCLA went 2-for-2 at podium meets this season after winning the Metroplex Challenge on Jan. 27. The Bruins previously won Elevate the Stage on Jan. 14. UCLA scored a season-high 197.625 to take first place over No. 2 LSU (197.375), No. 14 Washington (196.525) and No. 28 North Carolina State (195.825). A season-high 49.625 balance beam set in the second rotation gave UCLA the lead which it never relinquished. The Bruins closed their beam set with a 9.975 by Kyla Ross and a perfect 10 by Christine Peng-Peng Lee. UCLA closed strong on floor exercise and vault with scores of 49.4 to seal the victory.

 

KONDOS FIELD EARNS CAREER WIN 500

UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field surpassed 500 career coaching victories with the Bruins’ win at Metroplex. The Pac-12 Gymnastics Coach of the Century now holds a career coaching record of 502-118-3 (.808) in 28 years as UCLA’s head coach. Kondos Field has won six NCAA Championships and four national coach of the year honors, and in 2010, she became the second active coach ever to be inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame.       

 

ROSS, LEE EARN PAC-12 WEEKLY HONORS

UCLA won two of the three Pac-12 honors this week, as Kyla Ross earned her first Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week award, while Christine Peng-Peng Lee earned her third Pac-12 Specialist of the Week award in four weeks. Ross won the all-around at the Metroplex Challenge with a career-high mark of 39.7, the highest all-around score by a Bruin since Samantha Peszek scored 39.7 in 2014. Ross also tied her career-high of 9.925 to win vault, tied for first on uneven bars with a 9.925 and scored a season-high 9.975 on beam. Lee continued UCLA’s streak of winning every Pac-12 Specialist of the Week award this season after she scored a perfect 10 on beam, her second beam 10 of her career and her fourth 10.0 overall. Lee now has seven career Pac-12 Specialist of the Week awards, one off the all-time record of eight held by UCLA’s Vanessa Zamarripa and Utah’s Georgia Dabritz. 

 

SCOUTING THE SOONERS

Although Oklahoma is coming off a tight dual meet road loss to Florida, the Sooners came out with a huge score of 198.125 to maintain its No. 1 national ranking with a season average of 197.733. Oklahoma also ranks No. 1 in the nation on vault (49.467), bars (49.475), and beam (49.417). Sophomore Maggie Nichols is the nation’s No. 1-ranked all-arounder with an average of 39.700 and a high of 39.775. She is also tied for first in the nation on vault (9.925). Freshman Anastasia Webb also ranks in the Top 10 nationally in the all-around, checking in at No. 7 (39.475). Oklahoma has six returning All-Americans on its squad - Natalie Brown, Stefani Catour, Brenna Dowell, AJ Jackson, Nicole Lehrmann, and Nichols.             

 

BEAMING BRUINS

UCLA has posted scores of 49.5 or higher on beam in its last two meets, scoring 49.525 at Arizona on Jan. 20 and then besting it a week later at the Metroplex Challenge with a 49.625. The Bruins’ season average is 49.3, good for second in the nation.  At Arizona, three Bruins contributed scores of 9.95 - Grace Glenn, Katelyn Ohashi, and Christine Peng-Peng Lee. At Metroplex,  UCLA counted no score lower than 9.875, with Kyla Ross scoring 9.975 and Lee hitting a perfect 10. UCLA has three gymnasts in the beam lineup who have scored two perfect 10s each on the event in their careers - Ross, Ohashi, and Lee. 

 

FLOORS UP

UCLA’s highest season average on any one event is 49.363 on floor exercise. The Bruins have scored 49.4 or higher in three of four meets, with a high of 49.425 set at the season opener. UCLA has four gymnasts ranked in the Top 20 nationally - No. 13 Kyla Ross (9.892), No. 17 Pauline Tratz (9.887), No. 19 Felicia Hano (9.883) and No. 20 Gracie Kramer (9.881). Kramer and Ross have been quite the 1-2 punch at the top of the lineup, scoring 9.9 to start the rotation in the first two meets. Hano and Tratz on the back end have scored no lower than 9.875, and Sonya Meraz has filled in at the last two meets for injured or ill teammates and has scored 9.85 each time. Katelyn Ohashi had UCLA’s top floor score last week, tying her career-high with a 9.925. UCLA tumbling on floor has been impressive, with Kramer doing a front double full-punch front, Ross starting with a whip-double back, Hano and Katelyn Ohashi starting with double layouts, Nia Dennis with a double Arabian and Tratz with a full-in.              

 

KOCIAN MAKES QUICK RETURN

Two-time Olympic medalist and three-time World champion Madison Kocian made her return to competition on Jan. 20 at Arizona, coming back from an August shoulder surgery to compete on balance beam. She scored 9.875 on beam at the Metroplex Challenge a week later, contributing to a team season-high of 49.625 on beam. Kocian had an impressive freshman campaign despite competing with a torn labrum that she suffered at the 2016 Olympic Trials. She competed in the all-around in all but two meets in 2017 and amassed a total of 16 individual victories. Kocian earned All-America honors in the all-around and on floor and was the NCAA Regional bars and floor champion.                 

 

ROLLING IN THE DEEP 

With 16 Bruins seeing the floor at Arizona (13 competing, three doing exhibition routines) and 14 competing at the Metroplex Challenge, the Bruins have showcased their depth in a big way. Six different Bruins took home individual titles at Arizona, with Katelyn Ohashi winning the all-around with a career-high 39.45 and beam with a 9.95, Felicia Hano winning vault and floor with 9.9s, Kyla Ross winning bars with a 9.925, Grace Glenn and Christine Peng-Peng Lee tying for first with Ohashi on beam (9.95), and Pauline Tratz tying Hano for first on floor (9.9).                             

 

FRESH FACES

UCLA’s newcomers have been strong so far this season. Nia Dennis has averaged 39.138 in the all-around, with a high of 39.225 set in Reno. She recorded career-highs on vault (9.875) and floor (9.85) at the Metroplex Challenge and a career-best 9.875 on bars at Arizona. Competing on vault and floor, Pauline Tratz averages 9.819 on vault and 9.888 on floor. Redshirt freshman Grace Glenn has competed on beam in each meet and won Pac-12 Specialist of the Week honors after scoring a career-high 9.95 at Arizona. She is averaging 9.925 in her last two meets. Junior transfer Brielle Nguyen tied for second on beam with a 9.825 leadoff routine at Elevate the Stage in her UCLA competitive debut and improved upon that score at Arizona with a 9.85. Savannah Kooyman made her competitive debut at the Metroplex Challenge and contributed a clutch 9.825 as the anchor on bars.

I

N THE RANKINGS

For the fourth-straight week, UCLA remains at No. 4 in the national rankings with an average of 197.094. The Bruins are Top 5 on every event - second on beam, fourth on bars and floor, and fifth on vault. Christine Peng-Peng Lee is tied for first in the nation on beam and ranks 13th on bars. Kyla Ross ranks in the Top 20 on every event and the all-around, checking in at No. 3 in the all-around and on bars, No. 5 on beam, No. 13 on floor and No. 20 on vault. Katelyn Ohashi ranks in the Top 20 in the all-around (No. 15) and on vault (No. 13) and beam (No. 17). Pauline Tratz ranks No. 17 on floor, followed by Felicia Hano at No. 19 and Gracie Kramer at No. 20. Hano also ranks No. 23 on vault.        

 

BY THE NUMBERS

UCLA has scored 49+ on beam in its last 17 meets and 49+ on floor in its last 11 meets … Sonya Meraz has competed in 42 straight meets, and JaNay Honest has competed in 32 straight … Christine Peng-Peng Lee has scored 9.9 or higher on bars in 12 of her last 17 meets and has won beam in her last five meets, dating back to last season … Kyla Ross has scored 9.9 or higher on bars in 13 of her last 14 meets … Associate head coach Chris Waller improved to 3-1 in his career as acting head coach when he led the Bruins to a season-opening win over Ohio State as head coach Valorie Kondos Field was out with the flu.

LOOKING AHEAD

The Bruins will travel to Berkeley for a Saturday, Feb. 10 matinee against California. The meet will take place at Haas Pavilion at 11:30 am and will be televised live on Pac-12 Network.     

LOS ANGELES --Rutgers University has withdrawn from a two-game football series with UCLA scheduled for 2020 and 2021. Director of Athletics Dan Guerrero was officially informed of Rutgers’ decision to cancel the series via e-mail communication last Thursday.

 

Based on an agreement originally agreed upon and signed in 2009, the two schools were scheduled to play a home-and-home series with a game at Rutgers Stadium during the 2016 season and another at the Rose Bowl during the 2017 season. In 2014, those games were pushed back to 2020 and 2021, respectively, to accommodate a Rutgers series with the University of Washington.

 

UCLA offered to flip the order of the games in the series to keep the agreement intact, but Rutgers declined. Per the agreement, Rutgers is required to pay UCLA a $500,000 termination fee within 30 days of demand. UCLA immediately will begin the process of finding opponents to fill the vacant schedule slots.

UCLA's Kyla Ross earned her first Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week honor, while Christine Peng-Peng Lee earned her third Pac-12 Specialist of the Week award in four weeks.

 

Ross won the all-around at the Metroplex Challenge, scoring a career-high 39.7. The two-time NCAA champion and 2012 Olympic gold medalist also won the vault with a career-high-tying 9.925 and tied for first on uneven bars with a 9.925 to record her third consecutive win on the event. She also earned Top 3 finishes on balance beam (9.975) and floor exercise (9.875). Ross' all-around score of 39.7 was the highest by a Bruin since Samantha Peszek scored 39.7 in 2014.

 

Lee continued UCLA's streak of winning every Pac-12 Specialist of the Week award this season, taking her third in four weeks and her seventh career. She is one off the Pac-12 record held by UCLA's Vanessa Zamarripa and Utah's Georgia Dabritz. Lee's 10.0 on balance beam at the Metroplex Challenge was her second career perfect 10 on beam and fourth perfect 10 overall. Lee is ranked No. 1 in the nation on beam with a season average of 9.925, and her 10.0 score helped UCLA earn a season-high 49.625 on beam.

 

Joining the Bruin duo in winning the weekly awards was Arizona State's Cairo Leonard-Baker, who earned her third consecutive Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Week award.

 

No. 4 UCLA will host No. 1 Oklahoma on Sunday, Feb. 4 at 1 pm.

 

Also Nominated:

Gymnast of the Week: Madison Cindric, ARIZ; Cairo Leonard-Baker, ASU; Toni-Ann Williams, CAL; Mary Jacobsen, OSU; Elizabeth Price, STAN; MaKenna Merrell-Giles, UTAH; Hailey Burleson, WASH.

 

Specialist of the Week: Christina Berg, Nichelle Christopherson, ASU; Sylvie Seilnacht, CAL; Maela Lazaro, OSU; Lauren Navarro, STAN, Kari Lee, UTAH; Haley Roy, WASH.

 

Freshman/Newcomer of the Week: Payton Bellows, ARIZ; Kaitlyn Yanish, OSU; Kyla Bryant, STAN; Nia Dennis, UCLA; Alexia Burch, UTAH.

 

2018 Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week

Jan. 9: MyKayla Skinner, Utah; Jan. 16: MyKayla Skinner, Utah; Jan. 23: Elizabeth Price, Stanford; Jan. 30: Kyla Ross, UCLA.

 

2018 Pac-12 Specialist of the Week

Jan. 9: Christine Peng-Peng Lee, UCLA; Jan. 16: Christine Peng-Peng Lee, UCLA; Jan. 23: Grace Glenn, UCLA; Jan. 30: Christine Peng-Peng Lee, UCLA.

 

2018 Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Week

Jan. 9: Kyana George, California; Jan. 16: Cairo Leonard-Baker, ASU; Jan. 23: Cairo Leonard-Baker, ASU; Jan. 30: Cairo Leonard-Baker, ASU.

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