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.

Friday, 08 February 2013 16:34

Goodman flies UCLA's way

The Bruins did an outstanding job on the recruiting trail filling areas of need. No one would have to tell UCLA fans that with the graduation of three starters in the defensive backfield that the secondary had to be addressed. UCLA was able to land one of the best defensive backs on the country in Tahaan Goodman from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

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Wednesday, 06 February 2013 00:14

Two Bruin Gymnasts Honored

UCLA Gymnasts Zamarripa, Francis Honored by Pac-12

Zamarripa wins Gymnast of the Week, Francis Freshman/Newcomer of the Week.

 

UCLA senior Vanessa Zamarripa earned her third Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week award this season, while Bruin freshman Danusia Francis received her first-ever Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Week honor.

 

Zamarripa had another dominating performance in the Bruins' 196.925-196.200 win at 11th-ranked Stanford, scoring her seventh career perfect 10 on vault and winning the all-around with a season-high-tying 39.675. She also won the floor exercise with a 9.925 and placed second on uneven bars (9.85) and balance beam (9.9). Zamarripa's perfect 10 was the first 10 in the nation this season on vault and only the second 10 on any apparatus thus far.

 

With her two event victories this weekend, Zamarripa has now placed first on nine of 14 routines this season, and she also has won the all-around in each of the three meets in which she has competed all four events. She currently ranks first in the nation on balance beam and floor exercise, second in the all-around, seventh on vault and 13th on uneven bars.

 

Francis won the balance beam for the third consecutive meet, scoring 9.925 at Stanford to tie her career-best. She ranks sixth in the nation on beam with an average of 9.881 that ranks second on the squad behind national-leader Zamarripa. Francis has Top 3 finishes on beam in all four meets and has hit all eight of her routines on the year.

This is Zamarripa's third Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week award in five weeks and her conference-record eighth in her career. It is also UCLA's 44th all-time. Francis' Freshman of the Week Award is the third by a Bruin this year.

 

Utah's Tory Wilson earned Special Performance of the Week honors. UCLA competes at home on Sunday against Washington, UC Davis and Sacramento State at 2 pm.

 

Also Nominated:

Gymnast of the Week: Briana Gades, ASU; Serena Leong, CAL; Makayla Stambaugh, OSU; Ivana Hong, STAN; Lauren Rogers, WASH

Special Performance of the Week: Dallas Crawford, CAL; Kelsi Blalock, OSU; Pauline Hanset, STAN; Danusia Francis, UCLA; Sheridan Metcalf, WASH

Freshman/Newcomer of the Week: Lexi Mills, ARIZ; Serena Leong, CAL; Hailey Gaspar, OSU; Melissa Chuang, STAN; Breanna Hughes, UTAH; Allison Northey, WASH

2013 Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week

Jan. 8: Vanessa Zamarripa, UCLA; Jan. 15: Vanessa Zamarripa, UCLA; Jan. 22: Georgia Dabritz, Utah; Jan. 29: Ashley Morgan, Stanford; Feb. 5: Vanessa Zamarripa, UCLA

2013 Pac-12 Special Performance of the Week

Jan. 8: Nicole Dayton, Stanford; Jan. 15: Olivia Courtney, UCLA; Jan. 22: Tory Wilson, Utah; Jan. 29: Natasha Sundby, Arizona State; Feb. 5: Tory Wilson, Utah

2013 Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Week

Jan. 8: Sophina DeJesus, UCLA; Jan. 15: Hailey Gaspar, Oregon State; Jan. 22: Shelby Edwards, Arizona; Jan. 29: Sophina DeJesus, UCLA; Feb. 5: Danusia Francis, UCLA

Tuesday, 05 February 2013 03:35

Bruins prepare for UDub

UCLA BASKETBALL PREPARES TO HOST WASHINGTON ON THURSDAY NIGHT

Bruins’ home contest versus Washington to be televised on ESPN

 

LOS ANGELES – UCLA returns to action against Washington (13-9, 5-4 Pac-12) in Pauley Pavilion on Thursday, Feb. 7. Game time is 6 p.m. The Bruins’ game will be nationally televised on ESPN, with Dave Pasch and Bill Walton calling the action. Last season, UCLA (16-6, 6-3) split a pair of regular-season meetings against the Huskies.

 

GAME INFORMATION

Venue: Pauley Pavilion (13,800)

Tip-Off Time: 6:05 p.m. PT

Television: ESPN

TV Talent: Dave Pasch (play-by-play), Bill Walton (analyst)

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

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

SIRIUS Satellite Radio: TBD

SIRIUS XM Radio: TBD

 

LEADING THE WAY

Freshman Shabazz Muhammad leads UCLA with 18.4 points per game, the second-highest scoring average among all Pac-12 players. Freshman Kyle Anderson has logged six double-doubles this season and is averaging 9.4 ppg and a team-leading 9.0 rpg. Junior Travis Wear ranks third on the team with 12.4 ppg and leads UCLA with a 53.0 field goal percentage (107-202). Freshman Jordan Adams is the team’s second-leading scorer, averaging 15.2 ppg.

 

HONORING DON BARKSDALE

The late Don Barksdale will have his No. 11 jersey retired at halftime during Thursday’s game against Washington. Barksdale is one of three former UCLA stars to be honored with a jersey retirement this season – Jamaal Wilkes’ No. 52 was retired Jan. 17, and Reggie Miller’s No. 31 jersey was retired Jan. 30. Barksdale was the first African-American to earn All-America honors at UCLA (1947) and the first to capture an Olympic basketball gold medal (1948).

 

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.

 

AGAINST RANKED TEAMS

UCLA has gone 2-2 against teams ranked in the top-25 this season (team must be ranked on day 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.

 

20-PLUS POINTS

Shabazz Muhammad recorded his ninth game with at least 20 points, totaling a team-best 22 points in UCLA’s 75-71 overtime loss to USC on Jan. 30. UCLA has gone 8-1 this season when Muhammad has scored at least 20 points. The freshman from Las Vegas scored a season-high 27 points in consecutive games in December – in victories over Fresno State (Dec. 22) and then-No. 7 Missouri (Dec. 28).

 

VERSATILE FRESHMAN

Not only has Kyle Anderson logged six double-doubles, but the freshman from Fairview, N.J., is the Pac-12 Conference’s only player to rank in the top 10 in rebounding (6th, 9.0 rpg) and assists (7th, 3.6). Anderson is averaging 9.4 points per game and has compiled a 1.8 assist turnover ratio, the third-best mark among Pac-12 players. He is sixth in the conference in steals per game, having registered 38 steals in 22 contests (1.7 spg).

 

YOUNG SUCCESS

UCLA’s trio of freshman starters – Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad – have accounted for 52.7 percent of the Bruins’ total points (891 of 1690) and for 45.0 percent of the team’s total rebounds (378 of 840). These freshmen account for three of UCLA’s top four scorers. Kyle Anderson’s team-leading 199 rebounds are the most by any UCLA freshman since Kevin Love finished with 406 boards in 2007-08. Muhammad has scored at least 20 points in nine games, while Adams has scored at least 20 points in seven games.

 

TOP PERFORMER

Junior Travis Wear ranks third on the team with 12.4 ppg and has logged 5.7 rpg, the second-highest rebounding average on the team. He has scored in double figures in 14 of 22 games this season. In UCLA’s last game (vs. USC, Jan. 30), Wear scored 16 points after having missed the Bruins’ previous game with a concussion (at ASU, Jan. 26). He leads all UCLA players in field goal percentage (53.0 percent, 107-202 FGs).

 

GIVING AN ASSIST

Through games played Sunday, Larry Drew II leads the nation in assist turnover ratio (4.9) and ranks fourth, nationally, in assists per game (8.0). He has logged at least eight assists in 15 of 22 contests and has committed two or fewer turnovers in 18 of 22 games. Drew II has totaled 175 assists and 36 turnovers in 22 games while averaging 6.3 points per game. He has totaled more assists (175) than any UCLA player since Darren Collison had 199 in 2006-07.

 

DON’T BE OFFENDED

UCLA leads all Pac-12 programs in scoring average, having registered 76.8 points per game (the 25th highest scoring average in the nation). In addition, UCLA has compiled the third-best scoring margin among Pac-12 programs, having outscored the opposition by an average of 7.6 points per game. The Bruins are second in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (46.5 percent, No. 42 in nation) and are first in assists per game (17.3 apg, No. 7 in nation).

 

20-POINT TANDEMS

Shabazz Muhammad (27 pts), Jordan Adams (25 pts) and Kyle Anderson (20 pts) became UCLA’s first-ever freshman trio to log at least 20 points each in the same game on Dec. 22, 2012, helping lead UCLA past Fresno State, 91-78. Muhammad has twice scored 27 points this season, and Adams logged 26 against UC Irvine (Nov. 13).

 

PROTECTING THE BALL

UCLA enters Thursday night’s contest against Washington having compiled a 1.56 assist turnover ratio, the highest ratio in 10 seasons under head coach Ben Howland. UCLA’s 2008-09 squad posted a 1.23 ratio and last year’s team logged a 1.20 ratio. Senior guard Larry Drew II leads the nation in assist turnover ratio (4.86). The Bruins have had just one game this season (Nov. 20, vs. Georgia in Brooklyn, N.Y.) with more turnovers than assists.

 

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.

 

CLOSE CALLS

The Bruins have gone 6-2 in games decided by five points or fewer. UCLA overcame a nine-point deficit in the final five minutes to defeat Missouri, 97-94 in overtime (Dec. 28). Other victories have come against Colorado (78-75), Utah (57-53, Jan. 10), Texas (65-63, Dec. 8), Georgia (60-56, Nov. 20) and UC Irvine (80-79, overtime, Nov. 13). In 10 seasons as head coach, Ben Howland has led UCLA to a 54-33 record in games decided by five points or fewer.

 

INJURY REPORT

Junior Travis Wear missed the second half of UCLA’s game at Arizona (Jan. 24) and all of the game at Arizona State (Jan. 26) with a concussion. He returned to the starting lineup for UCLA’s contest against USC (Jan. 30). Sophomore Nick Kazemi remains sidelined with a sprained left MCL (sustained the injury on Oct. 26, 2012).

 

Sunday, 03 February 2013 16:04

UCLA Gymnast Honored

DeJesus Wins Second Pac-12 Freshman of the Week Award

Bruin freshman placed first or second in all three events at ASU.

 

For the second time this season, UCLA freshman Sophina DeJesus (Temecula, Calif./Temecula Valley HS) was named Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Week. DeJesus placed first or second on all three events in which she competed, helping lead UCLA to a 196.375-195.6 victory at Arizona State and a 3-0 record to start the season. DeJesus tied for first place on balance beam with a career-high mark of 9.875 and also set a new career-high on floor exercise, where she tied for second place.

 

Additionally, she tied for second on uneven bars with a 9.8. DeJesus had the highest composite score in the meet (no one competed all-around), totaling 29.55 points. This is DeJesus' second Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Week award and UCLA's second all-time.

 

Stanford senior Ashley Morgan was named the Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week, and Arizona State's Natasha Sundby earned Special Performance of the Week honors.

 

The Bruins and the Cardinal face off this week as UCLA travels to Stanford on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 4 pm PT. The meet will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks.

 

Also Nominated:

Gymnast of the Week: Jordan Williams, ARIZ; Kelsi Blalock, OSU; Sophina DeJesus, UCLA; Corrie Lothrop, UTAH; Lauren Rogers, WASH.

Special Performance of the Week: Aubree Cristello, ARIZ; Stephanie McGregor, OSU; Samantha Shapiro, STAN; Vanessa Zamarripa, UCLA; Tory Wilson, UTAH; Aliza Vaccher, WASH.

 

Freshman/Newcomer of the Week: Melissa Chuang, STAN; Breanna Hughes, UTAH; Allison Northey, WASH.

 

2013 Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week

Jan. 8: Vanessa Zamarripa, UCLA; Jan. 15: Vanessa Zamarripa, UCLA; Jan. 22: Georgia Dabritz, Utah; Jan. 29: Ashley Morgan, Stanford

 

2013 Pac-12 Special Performance of the Week

Jan. 8: Nicole Dayton, Stanford; Jan. 15: Olivia Courtney, UCLA; Jan. 22: Tory Wilson, Utah; Jan. 29: Natasha Sundby, Arizona State

 

2013 Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Week

Jan. 8: Sophina DeJesus, UCLA; Jan. 15: Hailey Gaspar, Oregon State; Jan. 22: Shelby Edwards, Arizona; Jan. 29: Sophina DeJesus, UCLA

 

Friday, 01 February 2013 01:55

Plutko Preseason All-American

Plutko Secures Preseason All-America Honors from Baseball America 

 

Junior right-hander receives third-team All-America honors from national publication.

Durham, N.C. - Junior right-handed pitcher Adam Plutko has been named to the Baseball America preseason All-American team, picking up third-team honors from the national publication.

Plutko joins starting pitchers Dillon Overton (Oklahoma), Karsten Whitson (Florida) and Kevin Ziomek (Vanderbilt) on the third team.

This past fall, Plutko garnered All-American acclaim from Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball and the NCBWA, earning first-team honors from both organizations. He went 12-3 with a 2.48 ERA during his sophomore year, striking out 99 batters in 119.2 innings as the ace of the UCLA pitching staff. Plutko also finished the 2012 season with a 7-0 record in his final seven starts, sporting a 0.89 ERA and a .180 opposing batting average in that span.

Plutko has twice been named to the Pac-12 All-Conference team, and last season captured third-team All-America honors from Baseball America. In the postseason, Plutko has simply been dominant, going 4-0 in four career starts with a 0.88 ERA. His 0.88 ERA mark is the lowest postseason ERA in school history (min. 12 IP) and his four postseason wins are also tied for the most in UCLA history. Overall, Plutko has gone 19-7 with a 2.26 ERA in two seasons in Westwood.

The Bruins are ranked as high as No. 2 in the preseason polls and will kick off the 2013 season on Friday, Feb. 15 at home against Minnesota. Game time is slated for a 6 p.m. start. UCLA will also host their annual alumni game this Saturday, Feb. 2 at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The "Old-Timers" game will take place at 10:30 a.m. and the "Young-Timers" game will start at 12:05 p.m.

Friday, 01 February 2013 01:52

Three UCLA Frosh On Watch List

THREE UCLA PLAYERS NAMED TO FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR WATCH LIST

Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson, Shabazz Muhammad among 12 players on watch list

 

ST. LOUIS – UCLA’s Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad are among 12 players who have been named to the 2013 Wayman Tisdale Award National Freshman of the Year midseason watch list, as announced Thursday by the U.S. Basketball Writers’ Association (USBWA).

 

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.

 

Muhammad leads the team and ranks fourth in the Pac-12 in scoring, having averaged 18.4 points per game. Adams has averaged 15.2 points per game, while Anderson has registered 9.4 points per game and a team-leading 9.0 rebounds per game.

 

Adams and Anderson have played in all 22 contests for the Bruins, who have compiled a 16-6 record and 6-3 mark in Pac-12 Conference action.

 

Muhammad leads all Pac-12 players in three-point field goal percentage, having made 42.6 of his long-distance attempts (26-for-61). Adams leads UCLA in three-point field goals (30), free throws (83), free throw percentage (81.4, 83-for-102) and steals (42).

 

Anderson has logged a team-leading six double-doubles and has grabbed at least 10 rebounds in nine games. The freshman from Fairview, N.J., ranks sixth in the conference with 3.6 assists per game while posting a 1.7 assist turnover ratio, the fourth-highest mark in the Pac-12.

 

The midseason watch list also includes Isaiah Austin (Baylor), Anthony Bennett (UNLV), Jahii Carson (Arizona State), Yogi Ferrell (Indiana), Ben McLemore (Kansas), Nerlens Noel (Kentucky), Glenn Robinson III (Michigan), Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State) and Nik Stauskas (Michigan).