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.

Thursday, 21 February 2013 23:32

Muhammad Returns To Practice

UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad returned to practice on Thursday afternoon. Muhammad had missed UCLA’s practice on Tuesday (conjunctivitis), and the team did not practice on Wednesday. He is expected to play in the Bruins’ game at USC on Sunday afternoon (12:30 pm, PT).

Wednesday, 20 February 2013 23:50

UCLA Offers Bayou Star

Willis Gerald 300

The Bruins are doing their best to get into the hunt with Gerald Willis III (6-3, 265) from New Orleans (La.) Edna Karr. UCLA has joined a plethora of other colleges with a scholie opportunity.

Joining UCLA with offers on the table, are the likes of Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Arizona State, Florida, LSU, Miami, Nebraska, Oregon, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M and USC.

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Wednesday, 20 February 2013 14:34

Word From Westwood

This is the final full week of February, and as it does every year, this week falls squarely in the stretch run of the winter sports season. Stretch runs are often characterized by important matchups that can dramatically affect a team’s regular season standings.

 

For three of our squads, that takes on added meaning because they face not just any program this week, but their crosstown rival, USC, in pivotal contests. The UCLA men’s volleyball team started it off Monday night, recording a 3-0 sweep over the Trojans in perhaps their finest performance of the season at the Galen Center, and the men’s and women’s basketball teams will each face USC this week with a lot on the line…

 

Women’s Basketball Plays Home-and-Home Series with USC This Week 
After hosting both Cal and Stanford a week ago in a pair of games that saw fans come out in droves to support the Bruins, the UCLA women’s basketball team (19-6 overall, 10-4 in conference) faces the odd circumstance of playing crosstown rival USC twice in five days this week.

 

The Bruins and Trojans will meet at the Galen Center tonight at 8 pm on the Pac-12 Networks and then in Pauley on Sunday at 2 pm. The home game marks the second straight Sunday afternoon contest at Pauley for the Bruins and comes on the heels of a loud and boisterous crowd for Dads and Daughters Day last Sunday afternoon.

 

Coach Cori Close is calling on all Bruins fans to come out and support her team in record numbers when they host the Trojans Sunday afternoon. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call the UCLA Central Ticket Office at 310-UCLA-WIN (825-2946) or order online here.

 

The game will also signify the return of UCLA’s long-standing “I’m Going to College” program, through which UCLA combines a college fair with a sporting event, allowing many students who would not otherwise be exposed to “the college experience” to have the chance to participate in it first-hand.

 

Men's BasketballMen’s Basketball Earns Split in NorCal, Continues Season at USC Sunday 

The UCLA men’s basketball team (19-7 overall, 9-4 in conference), just one game out of the lead in the Pac-12 standings, plays once this week – on the road next Sunday afternoon, at USC.

 

Last week, the Bruins fell to Cal Thursday in Berkeley before bouncing back and defeating Stanford Saturday in Palo Alto.

 

After the USC game Sunday, UCLA returns to Pauley Pavilion for its final two home games of the season next week when it hosts Arizona State at 8:30 pm Wednesday and Arizona at 6 pm Saturday.

 

Limited tickets remain for both games. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call the UCLA Central Ticket Office at 310-UCLA-WIN (825-2946).

 

Reminder: Be in the House for College GameDay on March 2
In case you missed the initial announcement earlier, please remember to mark your calendars for Saturday, March 2, when Pauley Pavilion hosts ESPN's College GameDay Covered by State Farm.

 

UCLA fans will be allowed entry to Pauley Pavilion as early as 5 am, and event programming will begin at 5:30 am. All fans interested in being a part of the festivities are encouraged to line up outside the northwest entrance of Pauley Pavilion.

 

Admission is free, and only fans wearing blue or UCLA gear will be admitted. Tasteful signs are always welcomed and encouraged and, of course, increase a fan’s chance of being seen on TV.

 

NCAA Art Collection Will Be in Pauley for the Arizona State Game 
The NCAA, in partnership with the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the NABC Foundation, has commissioned world-renowned sports artist Opie Otterstad to paint a one-of-a-kind piece of art for each of the 75 years of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, highlighting the coach of the national championship team. At the end of the project, all of the artwork will fit together as one large piece to tell the story of 75 years of the NCAA Division I college basketball tournament.

 

UCLA will unveil 11 pieces of art, representing its 11 National Championships at the game against Arizona State on February 27. All 75 original pieces, including the 11 UCLA pieces, will then be available for viewing and for sale at Gallery 319 from February 28 through March 7.

 

After the gallery show, the artwork, if not sold, will be posted online for auction at www.ncaa.com/Art, along with 250 limited edition prints of each painting that will be for sale.

 

Baseball Opens 2013 Campaign with Series Win Against Minnesota
After three robust opening weekend crowds, and after having formally unveiled a new LED scoreboard at Jackie Robinson Stadium, the #3-ranked UCLA baseball team took two out of three games at home against the Golden Gophers to open the 2013 season.

 

The Bruins outscored Minnesota 30-7 on aggregate, and this week will make their first-ever visit to Waco, Texas to take on Baylor in a three-game set Friday-Sunday.

 

Olympic Sports Report

  • The #3-ranked men's tennis team was in action at the USTA/ITA National Team Indoors in Seattle over the weekend, dropping an extremely close 4-3 decision to No. 2 USC in the semifinals. The Bruins (9-1) opened the tournament with a 4-1 victory over No. 14 Tennessee in the round of 16, followed by a 4-1 win over No. 6 Georgia in the quarterfinals. The Bruins and Trojans will square off again this Friday at USC beginning at 3 pm.
  • The #3-ranked women’s water polo team improved to 13-1 on the year by posting a 9-6 win over #6 UC Irvine last Friday. The Bruins return to action this week when they travel to UC Irvine for the UCI Invitational. The Bruins open the two-day, four-game event against #16 UC San Diego at 11:30 am Saturday.
  • The #4-ranked men's golf team completes play in The Prestige at PGA West this week, with the final round coming on Wednesday.
  • In the first of a tough three-meet road swing against Top 15 opponents, the #5-ranked gymnastics team suffered its first loss of the season at Oregon State, 196.725-196.075, on Saturday. The 7-1 Bruins will next travel to #2-ranked and undefeated Oklahoma on Friday in a meet that will be televised by Fox College Sports Central.
  • The #7-ranked UCLA men's volleyball team swept #9 USC Monday night at the Galen Center, setting a league season record by hitting .522 for the match. The Bruins next travel to #4 Pepperdine on Saturday night for their second straight conference showdown.
  • The #14 women’s swimming and diving squad dropped a decision at #1 USC last Saturday. They are off from competition this week as they prepare for the Pac-12 Championships (Feb. 27-March 2) in Federal Way, Wash.
  • The #18 ranked softball team went 5-0 last weekend at the Easton Desert Classic. This weekend, the Bruins head to the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City, Calif. for five games, including a pair against ranked teams (Tennessee and LSU).
  • For the second weekend in a row, the men's and women's track and field teams excelled in back-to-back meets. On Saturday, at the Claremont Winter Throws Invitational, men’s discus thrower Julian Wruck was outstanding in his UCLA debut, posting a distance of 212'11", which ranks second all-time in school history. The Bruins continued their success Sunday at the Run for the Dream Invitational, claiming nine individual event crowns and setting three meet records.
  • The women's golf team won its first tournament of the season last week, capturing the team title at the Northrup Grumman Regional Challenge by nine strokes over USC. Sophomore Erynne Lee won her second collegiate title, posting an even par 213 over 54 holes, including a final round 69 (-2). Later this week, the Bruins will compete in the All-State Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate Golf Championship, hosted by Tulane in New Orleans.
  • Following a second-place finish at the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships, the #2-ranked women's tennis team (6-1) had a week off from competition. The Bruins resume action in the Bay Area this weekend, taking on #8 Cal on Friday in Berkeley and #45 St. Mary's on Saturday in Moraga.

Thoughts from the Athletic Director

So many of our student-athletes are successful in professions outside of sports, but it is great to see that in any given week on the amateur and professional sports scene, a Bruin alumnus is making some type of splash or major contribution to his or her team’s success. Just recently, seeing Russell Westbrook and Jrue Holiday represent their respective conferences in the NBA All-Star game, Brendon Ayanbadejo win a Super Bowl as a member of the Baltimore Ravens and Zakiya Bywaters being selected as the #1 overall pick in the draft for the new National Women’s Soccer League, represent a few examples of the mark being made by Bruins across the sports landscape. Those were all fantastic accomplishments.

 

What happened on Sunday afternoon at the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club, however, warmed my heart and the hearts of many Bruins who were pulling for UCLA alumnus John Merrick to win his first PGA crown. One couldn’t help but be captivated by the performance of the Long Beach native, who won the Northern Trust Open on the second playoff hole against Charlie Beljan. It was especially great to see one of our own do so well in the professional ranks right in our own backyard.

 

With the win, Merrick, a 2004 sociology graduate, and one of five Bruin alums in the tournament field, became the first native of Los Angeles County to win the event, marking his first career win. In addition, he moves up to No. 4 in the FedExCup standings and earns a two-year exemption on the PGA TOUR through 2015.

 

It was made all the more special to me that he captured the championship on the 10th hole, the very hole at which we hosted “UCLA Day” activities for Bruin fans the day prior. This was a win, not only for John and his family, but for the entire Bruin family. The telecast showed scores of Bruins walking the course in their UCLA shirts and caps. One could hear “Go Bruin” shouts after he made a big putt or walked to the next tee. Kudos also should go to Jim Nantz and his colleagues at CBS for making it a point to reference John’s UCLA connection at every opportune juncture.

 

Finally, how great was it to see John hug his son and newborn daughter, and his wife Jody (also a Bruin and a former water polo student-athlete) after winning the title? The emotion was genuine and heartfelt, and you cannot help but thinking how wonderful it will be to see that scene again in the future.

 

On a truly beautiful late winter day in Los Angeles, John reminded us again how great it is to be a Bruin! Thank you, John, and congratulations.

Go Bruins!

Dan Guerrero
UCLA Athletic Director

 
Tuesday, 19 February 2013 15:00

Baseball Game Postponed

UCLA's Baseball Game on Tuesday Postponed to Tuesday, Feb. 26
Bruins game vs. UC Santa Barabara moved back to Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 2 p.m.

Los Angeles, Calif. - Due to rain in the forecast, Tuesday's baseball game between UCLA and UC Santa Barbara has been moved to Tuesday, Feb. 26. The game will be played at 2 p.m. at UCSB's Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

The Bruins opened the 2013 season by taking two out of three from the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Jackie Robinson Stadium this past weekend and will now make their first ever visit to Waco, Texas to face Baylor in a three-game series starting on Friday, Feb. 22. Game times for the series are 4:35 p.m. PT on Friday, 1:05 p.m. PT on Saturday and 11:05 a.m. PT on Sunday.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013 01:18

UCLA To Take On USC

UCLA BASKETBALL TO PLAY AT USC ON SUNDAY AFTERNOON

Bruins (19-7, 9-4) look forward to Sunday’s road game against Trojans (12-14, 7-6)

 

LOS ANGELES – UCLA (19-7, 9-4) returns to the court at crosstown rival USC on Sunday, Feb. 24, looking to even the season series against the Trojans (12-14, 7-6). The Bruins have won three of their last four games and enter the week in a second-place tie with Arizona in the Pac-12 standings. Both UCLA and Arizona (9-4 Pac-12) trail first place Oregon (10-3 Pac-12) in the conference race. UCLA has just five regular-season games remaining on its regular-season schedule.

 

GAME INFORMATION

Venue: Galen Center (10,258)

Tip-Off Time: 12:35 p.m. PT

Television: Fox Sports Net

TV Talent: Justin Kutcher (play-by-play), Steve Kerr (analyst), Laura McKeeman (reporter)

Radio (UCLA Sports Network from IMG College): AM 570 (KLAC)

Radio Talent: Chris Roberts (play-by-play), Don MacLean (analyst)

 

UCLA HEADS TO USC

UCLA concludes its season series at crosstown rival USC on Sunday afternoon (12:30 p.m.), looking to respond from the Trojans’ 75-71 overtime victory at UCLA on Wednesday, Jan. 30. USC’s victory three weeks ago snapped UCLA’s four-game win streak against the Trojans. In that contest, the Bruins forced overtime, overcoming a 15-point second-half deficit before USC won the game by four points (UCLA’s first overtime loss since Feb. 20, 2011).

 

THE LAST TIME

Shabazz Muhammad scored a game-high 22 points while battling effects of the flu in UCLA’s 75-71 overtime loss to USC on Jan. 30. Five players scored in double figures for USC, with Aaron Fuller leading the way with 15 points. USC shot at a 47.7 percent clip and out-rebounded UCLA by a 44-36 margin.

 

HOWLAND VERSUS USC

In his 10th season as UCLA’s head coach, Ben Howland has registered a 13-9 record against USC. The Bruins have compiled a 4-2 record against USC at Galen Center since the Trojans’ home arena opened during the 2006-07 season. Last year, UCLA downed USC, 66-47, at Galen Center.

 

BACK FROM THE BAY

The Bruins split a pair of road games at California (lost, 76-63) and Stanford (won, 88-80) last week and currently rest in a second-place tie with Arizona in the Pac-12 standings. UCLA and Arizona trail first-place Oregon by one game in the conference race. Shabazz Muhammad averaged 19.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in the two games, totaling a game-high 25 points in UCLA’s 88-80 win at Stanford last Saturday afternoon.

 

DON’T BE OFFENDED

UCLA leads the Pac-12 in scoring average, having registered 76.0 points per game (No. 26, nationally). The Bruins lead all Pac-12 teams in conference action with 71.0 points per game. UCLA has compiled the third-best scoring margin in the Pac-12 (all games), outscoring the opposition by 6.8 points per game. The Bruins are first in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (46.4 pct, No. 42 in nation) and are first in assists per game (17.0 apg, No. 8 in nation).

 

KEY SCORER

Shabazz Muhammad leads all NCAA Division I freshmen in scoring, having logged 18.5 ppg in 23 games. UNLV freshman Anthony Bennett has registered 18.0 ppg (467 points, 26 games) entering the Rebels’ game against Colorado State on Wednesday. Muhammad has scored at least 20 points in 11 games (UCLA has gone 10-1 in those contests). Muhammad has scored in double figures in 22 of 23 games played, including each of his last 10 contests.

 

VERSATILE FRESHMAN

Kyle Anderson ranks sixth in the nation among freshmen in rebounds per game (8.8). Not only has Anderson logged seven double-doubles, but he is also the Pac-12’s only player to rank in the top 10 in rebounding (6th, 8.8 rpg) and assists (6th, 3.7). Anderson has averaged 9.6 points per game and has compiled a 1.7 assist turnover ratio, the fourth-best mark among Pac-12 players. He ranks fifth in the conference in steals per game (1.7 spg).

 

BALL CONTROL

Through games played Feb. 17, UCLA ranks fourth in the country in assist turnover ratio (1.52), while senior point guard Larry Drew II leads the country in that category (3.9). UCLA’s loss at California on Feb. 14 marked the Bruins’ only game this season in which they did not force 10 or more turnovers. UCLA has committed more turnovers than assists in just two of its 24 contests (wins against Georgia on Nov. 20 and Washington on Feb. 7).

 

TOP 10-YEAR TOTALS

UCLA has compiled more wins (227) and a higher winning percentage (.686) than any other Pac-12 program over the last 10 years, since Ben Howland took over as UCLA’s head coach (2003-04 through 2012-13). UCLA is the only Pac-12 program to have recorded more than one 30-win season in the last 10 years – the Bruins had three consecutive years with at least 30 wins in 2006, 2007 and 2008. UCLA also leads the group of 12 teams, over the last 10 years, in Pac-12 wins (117), conference win percentage (.669), NCAA Tournament victories (15), NCAA Tournament win percentage (.714, 15-6 W-L), and Pac-12 regular-season titles (3).

 

GIVING AN ASSIST

Through games played Sunday, Feb. 17, senior Larry Drew II leads the nation in assist turnover ratio (3.90) and ranks fourth, nationally, in assists per game (7.65). Drew II is currently tied for seventh place on UCLA’s single-season assist list. His average of 7.65 assists per game stands as the highest mark in school history, just ahead of Pooh Richardson’s 7.61 assist per game average in 1989. Drew II has logged at least eight assists in 16 of 26 contests and has committed two or fewer turnovers in 19 of 26 games. No UCLA player has registered 200 or more assists in one season since Tyus Edney finished with 216 assists in 1995.

 

FRESHMAN CANDIDATES

Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad are among 12 players who have been named to the Wayman Tisdale Award National Freshman of the Year midseason watch list. UCLA is the only program to have at least three freshmen selected to the award’s midseason watch list. Michigan and UCLA are the only teams with at least two players on the watch list, as released by the U.S. Basketball Writers’ Association on Jan. 31.

 

YOUNG SUCCESS

UCLA’s trio of freshman starters – Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad – have accounted for 53.7 percent of the Bruins’ total points (1063 of 1976) and for 46.3 percent of the team’s total rebounds (449 of 969). These freshmen account for three of UCLA’s top four scorers. Kyle Anderson’s team-leading 230 rebounds are the most by any UCLA freshman since Kevin Love finished with 406 boards in 2007-08.

 

BUZZER BEATER

Larry Drew II made a game-winning jump shot at the buzzer against Washington on Feb 7, lifting the Bruins to a 59-57 win over Washington. Drew II’s winning shot marked UCLA’s first “buzzer beater” since Jan. 20, 2011, when Reeves Nelson scored on a tip-in at the buzzer in Pauley Pavilion to help UCLA beat California, 86-84. Earlier this season, Drew II made a driving layup at Utah (Jan. 10) in the final 10 seconds to help UCLA preserve a 57-54 win. He also made a game-winning layup with 17 seconds left in overtime to give UCLA an 80-79 win over UC Irvine (Nov. 13).

 

UNCHARTED TERRITORY

Freshman Kyle Anderson finished three assists shy of a triple-double against Fresno State (Dec. 22), posting season-highs of 20 points and 17 rebounds that night. UCLA’s only previous triple-doubles took place in Dec. 1995. Toby Bailey finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against Stephen F. Austin on Dec. 18, 1995. Jelani McCoy tallied 15 points, 11 blocks and 10 rebounds against Maryland on Dec. 9, 1995.

 

ADAMS’ ACCOLADES

Freshman Jordan Adams ranks second on the team with 14.7 ppg, the 10th-highest scoring average in the Pac-12 (third-best mark among Pac-12 freshmen). Adams became the first freshman at UCLA to have scored 20+ points in each of his first four games (freshmen could not play varsity until 1972-73). He became UCLA’s first player in any class to have opened a season with four straight games of 20+ points since 1990-91 (Don MacLean, six straight).

 

CLOSE CALLS

The Bruins have gone 7-2 in games decided by five points or fewer this season. In 10 seasons under head coach Ben Howland, UCLA has logged a 55-33 record in games decided by five points or fewer. UCLA’s two greatest comeback wins this season took place against Texas (Dec. 8) and Missouri (Dec. 28). The Bruins trailed Texas (in Houston) by eight points (59-51) with 3:43 to play in regulation and took a 62-61 lead with 47 seconds left. UCLA was losing to Missouri by nine points (86-77) with 5:34 remaining in the second half before winning the game in overtime.

 

AGAINST RANKED TEAMS

UCLA has gone 2-2 against teams ranked in the top-25 this season (team must be ranked during week of game) and has posted a 2-0 mark against top-10 ranked opponents. This marks the fourth season in Ben Howland’s 10-year tenure as UCLA’s head coach that the Bruins have earned two wins against top-10 teams – UCLA downed No. 7 Missouri (97-94, overtime) on Dec. 28 and knocked off No. 6 Arizona (84-73) on Jan. 24.

 

INJURY REPORT

Sophomore guard Nick Kazemi remains sidelined with a sprained left MCL (sustained the injury on Oct. 26, 2012). Sophomore guard David Brown is day to day with a sprained right ankle.

Monday, 18 February 2013 02:01

Bruins Take Series

No. 2 UCLA Baseball Defeats Minnesota, 14-1
Offense scores 14 runs for the second straight day while Watson throws six shutout innings.

Los Angeles, Calif. - The No. 2 ranked UCLA Baseball team equaled their run total from yesterday as they defeated the Minnesota Golden Gophers, 14-1, on Sunday, giving them the series win. Sophomore Grant Watson earned the victory after throwing six scoreless innings and striking out a career-high eight batters.

Left-hander Jordan Jess took the loss for the Golden Gophers after giving up six earned runs in 2.2 innings.

Once again UCLA's offense led the way, getting three-hit efforts from junior Brian Carroll and freshman Trent Chatterton. Both sophomore Kevin Kramer and junior Pat Gallagher chimed in with three RBI apiece while sophomore Eric Filia had a game-high three runs.

Just as in yesterday's game, UCLA got on the board early, putting up six runs in the bottom of the first. After loading the bases with the first three batters, junior Pat Valaika singled to center to bring home the first run of the game. Sophomore Shane Zeile then grounded out to first to bring home another run before Gallagher drove in two runs with a double down the right field line. The Bruins weren't done though, and after Darrell Miller Jr. doubled to send Gallagher to third, freshman Ty Moore reached on an error, scoring Gallagher and giving UCLA a 5-0 lead. After Chatterton singled to load the bases, Carroll knocked in Miller with a single to increase the lead to 6-0.

That would be all the run support that Watson needed, as he allowed just two hits in his six innings of work. At one point, Watson retired 16 straight Minnesota batters from the first to the sixth inning.

After picking up runs in the sixth and seventh innings, UCLA's offense exploded again in the eighth, scoring five runs in the inning, all coming with two outs. After Brenton Allen singled and Moore reached on an error, Chatterton laced a double down the left field line to score both runners and put UCLA ahead 11-1. Two batters later, freshman outfielder Christoph Bono and Kramer hit back-to-back doubles to put three more runs on the board for the Bruins to make the score 14-1.

Freshman James Kaprielian made his collegiate debut in the ninth, throwing just nine pitches and setting down the Golden Gophers in order to secure the victory.

UCLA will be on the road all of next week, traveling to Santa Barbara on Tuesday to face the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at 6 p.m. The Bruins will then make their first ever visit to Waco, Texas to take on the Baylor Bears in a three-game set starting on Friday, Feb. 24 at 4:35 p.m. PT.

Game Notes: With the win, Grant Watson improved to 9-1 as a starter...UCLA's six runs in the first inning are the most they have scored in one inning since the 2012 squad put up seven runs vs. Cal State Northridge on April 17...today marked the first time since March 23 and 24 of 2012 that the Bruins have scored double digit runs in back-to-back games...the Bruins' total of 30 runs this weekend was the most they have scored in a three-game series since the 2012 team scored 30 at Utah from March 30 to April 1.