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.

Sunday, 03 March 2013 18:53

Muhammad, Drew II and Anderson Post

Shabazz Muhammad, Larry Drew II and Kyle Anderson met the media after UCLA's hard fought win over conference foe, Arizona. Muhammad is asked if this will be his game on the Pauley Pavilion floor as a Bruin. Many other topics discussed. Enjoy!

Sunday, 03 March 2013 08:08

Howland Talks Cats, Bazz and More

UCLA head basketball coach Ben Howland was in a jovial and was brutally honest when he addressed the media after his Bruin hoops team held on beat a very talented Arizona team. Howland did not mince words when he was asked about his super frosh forward, Shabazz Muhammad and his future. All and all it was a good day for Howland and a good day for UCLA.

Sunday, 03 March 2013 06:07

Bruins Sweep Cats

ZUM-300x220It was a game of runs, and thankfully for the Bruins, the clock was running out of ticks while the Wildcats were a 10-2 run with less than 10 seconds left. The score of that  game toat that time was 72-69. The Wildcats fouled super frosh forward, Shabazz Muhammad, with nine seconds and he drained them both to put the game on ice.

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Saturday, 02 March 2013 15:30

UCLA Gymnastics Drop Dual Meet

UCLA Gymnasts Drop Dual Meet to Alabama, 197.075-196.375

Zamarripa wins vault, bars.

 

Sixth-ranked UCLA finished a grueling three-meet road stretch with a 197.075-196.375 loss at fourth-ranked Alabama on Friday evening. The Bruins led at the halfway mark but could not hold on to the lead after a shaky team performance on floor exercise. Vanessa Zamarripa won two events for UCLA, capturing first place on vault (9.95) and uneven bars (9.9).

 

The two six-time NCAA champions traded leads in the first three rotations. Alabama assumed the lead after rotation one, scoring 49.275 on vault to UCLA's 49.05 on bars. The Bruins were led on bars by Zamarripa's 9.9 and Sophina DeJesus' 9.85.

 

UCLA took over the lead after the second rotation, 98.4-98.275 with a season-high-tying 49.35 on vault. The Bruins got three 9.9+ scores in the back half of the lineup, with Kaelie Baer earning a career-high 9.9, Olivia Courtney matching her season-best with a 9.9, and Zamarripa scoring 9.95. Alabama, meanwhile, posted a 49.0 on bars, with its highest score being its leadoff 9.85.

 

A 48.825 floor score in rotation three dropped the Bruins back into second place after Alabama scored 49.35 on beam. UCLA had a few stumbles from two normally reliable tumblers in DeJesus, who scored 9.6 after two short landings, and Zamarripa, who scored 9.2 after a fall on her first attempt at a double layout in competition in three years. Courtney had the Bruins' best score with a 9.875, and Alyssa Pritchett contributed a 9.85. The Bruins also had scores of 9.775 from Dana McDonald and 9.725 from Sadiqua Bynum.

 

Trailing by four-tenths heading into the final rotation, UCLA fought through adversity to score 49.15 on balance beam. After leadoff performer Baer's first fall of the season, the Bruins did not buckle under the pressure. Lichelle Wong followed Baer with a 9.775. DeJesus brushed off her floor stumbles to score 9.85. Larson earned 9.9 for the second consecutive week, Francis scored 9.85, and Zamarripa earned 9.775 to get the Bruins to a final team score of 196.375. Alabama captured the meet victory with a 49.45 on floor exercise, however, thanks in large part to a pair of 9.95 scores.

 

UCLA (7-3) finishes up the regular season slate with a pair of home meets on Mar. 10 vs. Michigan, California and Iowa State and on Mar. 17 vs. Arkansas. Both meets have a 2 pm start time and will take place in Pauley Pavilion.

 

Team Results

1) ALA 197.075

2) UCLA 196.375

 

VAULT Results

1) Vanessa Zamarripa (UCLA) 9.950

2) Kaitlyn Clark (ALA) 9.900, Kaelie Baer (UCLA) 9.900, Olivia Courtney (UCLA) 9.900

 

BARS Results

1) Vanessa Zamarripa (UCLA) 9.900

2) Ashley Sledge (ALA) 9.850, Sophina DeJesus (UCLA) 9.850

 

BEAM Results

1) Ashley Priess (ALA) 9.925

2) Kim Jacob (ALA) 9.900, Mattie Larson (UCLA) 9.900

 

FLOOR Results

1) Kim Jacob (ALA) 9.950, Diandra Milliner (ALA) 9.950

3) Sarah DeMeo (ALA) 9.875, Ashley Priess (ALA) 9.875, Olivia Courtney (UCLA) 9.875

 

All-Around Results

1) Kim Jacob (ALA) 39.425

2) Vanessa Zamarripa (UCLA) 38.825

Saturday, 02 March 2013 15:30

Bruins beat Wright State

No. 12 UCLA Baseball Defeats Wright State, 6-3
Kramer goes 3-4 with two RBI and two stolen bases while Valaika adds three RBI.

The No. 12 UCLA Baseball team scored five runs in the second inning and got another strong start from junior Adam Plutko to propel them to a 6-3 victory over Wright State on Friday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

Plutko picked up his second win of the season after allowing earned three runs in six innings of work. Casey Henn took the loss for Wright State, dropping to 1-2 after giving up six earned runs in five innings. Sophomore David Berg recorded his first save of the season after striking out two in the ninth inning.

UCLA's five run second inning started when junior Brian Carroll grounded into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded to score Shane Zeile. Kevin Kramer then singled through the left side in the next at-bat to score Ty Moore to make the lead 2-0 Bruins. The next hitter was Pat Valaika, who crushed a three-run homer to left to give the Bruins a five-run advantage.

The Raiders got two runs back in the top of third, when Mark Fowler hit a two-run home run off Plutko to cut the lead to 5-2. Plutko would retire the next three batters in the inning though to avoid further damage. Wright State would strike again in the next inning when Beau Phillips singled up the middle with two outs to score Justin Kopale, dropping the UCLA's lead to 5-3.

The Bruins wouldn’t stay down for long, getting another run in the bottom of the fourth on another Kramer single to up the lead back to three. Plutko settled down in the next two innings, retiring six of the next seven batters to preserve the 6-3 lead. From there, UCLA’s trio of Max Schuh, Zack Weiss and Berg shut down the Raiders, allowing just one walk in the final three innings of work to seal the 6-3 victory.

Overall, Kramer led the Bruins by going 3-4 with two RBI, a run and a career-high two stolen bases. Despite going 0-3 at the plate, Carroll managed to get on base twice and make the most of it, stealing three bases and scoring two runs.

The Bruins and Raiders will continue their three-game set tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. out at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Junior right-hander Nick Vander Tuig (1-1, 1.50 ERA) will take the mound for UCLA.

Game Notes: With the win, Adam Plutko improved to 9-0 with a 1.43 ERA in his last 10 starts…Kevin Kramer and Pat Valaika have now both reached base in all eight games this season…it was just the eighth career start at second base in Cody Regis’s four-year career (181 games played)…Berg earned just his second career save in 56 appearances....Berg's other save came against TCU last year in the second game of the NCAA Super Regionals…the Bruins had two more batters hit in the game, upping their season total to 24…UCLA’s pitchers retired 14 of the final 15 batters in the game.

Saturday, 02 March 2013 01:54

FREE: Howland Presser Quick Hits

Howland B Cal 405UCLA head coach Ben Howland had a teleconference earlier to discuss the Arizona game and there was good news that came out of the meeting.

First, it looks like Travis Wear, who has missed the last two games is probable for tomorrow. That helps UCLA’s already depleted depth situation and brings, if he plays, the available scholarship players up to eight.

If Travis Wear can play, he will start. Howland said that he wouldn’t want to sit him down at the beginning of the game and get the foot cold. Get him out there while he is warm.

Howland also talked to David Wear about the situation and praised him for his play the last two games.

“Travis went through the walk-thru today and I’m encouraged by that,” Howland said. “He’s probable for giving it a go tomorrow.”

True freshman sensation, Shabazz Muhammad, practiced today on his tender ankle that he hurt in the first-half, “gingerly” was the way that Howland described it.

“Shabazz, his ankle swelled up more than we anticipated, but he was out there, gingerly,” Howland said. “But, he will play.”

All take a deep breath of relief. One can only imagine where the Bruins would be without Muhammad this season.

For those that have been out of town and had no access to TV or internet, ESPN, will be having their game day telecast from Pauley Pavilion tomorrow. It doesn’t seem to be bothering Howland or the team.

“I just think it creates more excitement,” Howland said. “I mean, anytime you have college game day on your campus, it’s a big deal.

“It’s an unbelievable production and they have huge trucks coming from all over the country, plus you have who’s who in terms of ESPN. It’s special, no question. It’s great for UCLA. It’s great for the conference and it is great to have them here, on our campus. We are very excited about that as are our students.”

Howland acknowledged that all the excitement could be pretty good, but he doesn’t have an answer on how to keep the excitement on an even keel.

“It’s exciting,” Howland said. “It is what it is. That’s why kids come to UCLA to have college game day on campus against Arizona. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Howland knows that Arizona is going to be extremely fired up to play UCLA. Not only did UCLA beat them on their home floor, but they are coming off a defeat of USC. 

“Arizona is going to be hyped up,” Howland said. “They are a really good team. Look at their RPI.

“First of all, Arizona’s wins are against projected one seeds. Miami and Florida are either ones or two. They are two of Arizona’s wins. Regardless of what happens here, tomorrow or and the rest of the season, Arizona is going to be a real problem for anybody to deal with in the NCAA tournament. They are a team in a zone and I agree with (USC interim coach) (Bob) Cantu that they could be a final four team, there’s doubt about it.

“Arizona has seniors, they have a great point guard, they have bigs that are physical. They have depth. They are very well coached. They have played a very tough schedule and they are very, very good. You know that Arizona is going to bring their A-game.

“Arizona knows that ESPN College Game Day is here, too. They are going to bring their A-Game, as are we. It’s going to be a very competitive tough game.”

Howland reminded the media that the Bruins control their own destiny and in a worse case scenario if they win out they would at least have a part of the Pac 12 championship.

The first time around against Arizona, the Bruins had a rebound edge. One of the only times all season long. As a matter of fact, Howland told Chris Foster of the L.A. Times, who posed the question, that he was unaware of that fact.

“I’m so used to us losing on the boards that I didn’t even know that,” Howland said. “I’m going to have to look at the stats of that game, but I hope we can do that again. That would be phenomenal.”

Howland is very impressed by the way Arizona coach Sean Miller runs his team.

“Arizona does a great job in transition,” Howland said. “They really push the ball hard. They are hard to defend and they run a lot of great sets that come at you quick. They do a lot of ball screening and rolling and replacing. Arizona plays really good defense and they can get out and pressure you. They can force the issue with their pressure. Arizona has a lot of versatility.

“Sean (Miller), if you look at his numbers as a coach, I think, he’s in his ninth or tenth year as a coach, and he’s averaging like 25 wins a year for a career. That is pretty amazing.”

Howland had to rehash bad feelings about how the original recruiting went with Larry Drew II that saw him sign with North Carolina.

“I wasn’t patient and waited for Larry,” Howland said. “I really believe we would have  got it him in retrospect if I would have been patient. That was a huge blunder on my part and we payed for those sins during the previous years, but Larry coming back home playing in front of family and friends, his brother and mom being able to be at every game, it has been really special. 

“I think it has been a real sense of happiness for him to be back home in front of family and friends.

“Larry is very comfortable being here. His grandpa just turned 100 years old. He has a lot of family here supporting him. 

“I am really happy for Larry,” Howland said. “He’s having a really great year.”

Howland went onto praise Drew for his decision making and what he really liked is his defensive play. Howland explained that Drew is the point of attack defensively, pressuring the ball. Obviously Howland likes what he is getting out Drew II.

“He’s unselfish, he’s a pass first guy,” Howland said. “He’s the kind of guy you want to play with if you’re on his team.”

Howland also went onto say that Drew has improved as a shooter and is happy that he is hitting on 40-percent plus from the three.

Howland told the media that as of the other day, the Bruins would be a seven seed in the NCAA tournament. He didn’t know where they are today. His source, Howland went onto say is very accurate. He’s pretty spot on with seedings. 

The Bruins can either improve on that or make that worse depending on how the team does down the stretch.

While some fans were appalled by the new uniforms that adidas will be providing for their schools, UCLA included, the Bruins players love them and can’t wait to play in them. 

Howland said that if they play better in the new unis that is fine by him. He acknowledged that some fans were not overwhelmed by them.

The Bruins will play in the new threads at least once during the Pac 12 tourney. Howland stated that wearing the new uniforms will be fun for the players, but the new unis will not be something the team wears all the time, so for those that love traditional uniforms they will be back and will be used most of the time.