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.

Monday, 29 January 2018 15:13

UCLA Wins Metroplex Challenge with 197.625

Fort Worth, Texas- No. 4 UCLA remained undefeated, taking first place at the Metroplex Challenge with a season-high score of 197.625. The Bruins outscored No. 2 LSU, who took second place with a 197.375, No. 14 Washington (196.525), who placed third, and No. 28 North Carolina State (195.825), who finished fourth.

With the victories, UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field passed the 500 career victory threshold and now has 502 career wins.

UCLA sophomore Kyla Ross won the all-around with a career-high 39.7 and also won vault with a 9.925 and tied for first on bars with a 9.925.

The Bruins scored 49.2 on bars in the first rotation, coming in just behind LSU, who scored 49.325 on vault. Ross had the team’s high mark with a 9.925, Lee contributed a 9.875, and freshman Savannah Kooyman, in her competitive debut, closed the rotation with a 9.825.

UCLA took the lead after an impeccable balance beam rotation that saw Christine Peng-Peng Lee earn her second perfect 10 on beam and her fourth overall perfect 10. Ross nearly got her fifth perfect 10, scoring 9.975, and Grace Glenn scored 9.9, her second consecutive 9.9 mark. Madison Kocian and Katelyn Ohashi each contributed 9.875s to lead the Bruins to a team total of 49.625, the highest team event total by UCLA this season.

Up by .125 over LSU at the halfway mark, the Bruins moved to floor and ignited the crowd with six routines that scored 9.85 or higher. Gracie Kramer started with a 9.875, followed by a 9.85 from Sonya Meraz, 9.875 from Ross, a team-best 9.925 by Ohashi, 9.85 from Nia Dennis and 9.875 from Pauline Tratz. The Bruins’ total of 49.4 gave the team a three-event total of 148.225, two-tenths ahead of LSU’s 148.025.

With UCLA ending on vault and LSU finishing on floor, the Bruins needed a strong finish to hold off the Tigers. The last rotation turned into a Bruin stick-fest, with three-straight sticks to start. Ohashi and Dennis scored career-high 9.875s, and Ross tied her career-high with a meet-winning 9.925. Tratz earned 9.775, Napualani Hall stuck her Yurchenko 1.5 for a career-high-tying 9.9 to place second overall, and Felicia Hano closed the meet with a 9.825 for a team total of 49.4. LSU got a 9.975 from Myia Hambrick on floor, but the Tigers’ final score of 49.35 was not enough to overtake the Bruins.

UCLA, who improved to 8-0, will host No. 1 Oklahoma in Pauley Pavilion on Sunday, Feb. 3 at 1pm in a meet that will be televised live on ESPN.

Team Results

1) UCLA 197.625

2) L.S.U. 197.375

3) Washington 196.525

4) NC State 195.825


VAULT Results

1) Kyla Ross (UCLA) 9.925

2) Napualani Hall (UCLA) 9.900

3) Katelyn Ohashi (UCLA) 9.875, Nia Dennis (UCLA) 9.875, Sarah Finnegan (L.S.U.) 9.875, Julianna Cannamela (L.S.U.) 9.875, Sarah Edwards (L.S.U.) 9.875, Kennedi Edney (L.S.U.) 9.875


BARS Results

1) Kyla Ross (UCLA) 9.925, Sarah Finnegan (L.S.U.) 9.925

3) Myia Hambrick (L.S.U.) 9.900


BEAM Results

1) Peng-Peng Lee (UCLA) 10.000

2) Kyla Ross (UCLA) 9.975

3) Grace Glenn (UCLA) 9.900, Hailey Burleson (Washington) 9.900, Kennedi Edney (L.S.U.) 9.900


FLOOR Results

1) Myia Hambrick (L.S.U.) 9.975

2) Katelyn Ohashi (UCLA) 9.925

3) Gracie Kramer (UCLA) 9.875, Kyla Ross (UCLA) 9.875, Pauline Tratz (UCLA) 9.875, Sarah Edwards (L.S.U.) 9.875, Kennedi Edney (L.S.U.) 9.875, Sarah Finnegan (L.S.U.) 9.875


All-Around Results

1) Kyla Ross (UCLA) 39.700

2) Sarah Finnegan (L.S.U.) 39.550

3) Myia Hambrick (L.S.U.) 39.525

Sunday, 28 January 2018 15:09

Bruins Knock Off Stanford

Welsh T SU012718UCLA (15-7, 6-4) came out blazing hot from beyond the three and though Stanford (11-11, 5-4) were able overcome that onslaught, the Bruins held the lead for 33:02 minutes of the game and dominated the contest winning going away, 89-73.

The Bruins played the kind of basketball they do when they are successful and they play this way they have the chance to win against anyone. UCLA shared the basketball, four players scored in double-figures.

Jaylen Hands had nine points, just missing the plateau that would have given the Bruins five players who score 10 or more, but Hands did have a career-high 10 assists, including a crowd-pleasing assist in the second-half that brought the fans out of their seats with a strike to Kris Wilkes for an easy deuce. Plus, Hands only had one turnover.

Aaron Holiday once again led the Bruins in scoring with 21. Wilkes added 18 points, Prince Ali scored chipped in 16 and Welsh logged his 13th double-double of the season scoring 13 points and coming down with 10 boards.

The icing on the cake for the Bruins was the complete turnaround from the charity stripe. During the first game against the Cardinal poor foul shooting was partly to blame for the loss. UCLA was outstanding from the line hitting 92 percent for their foul shots.

“I’m really proud of the guys tonight,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said. “Thought our offense was really good with good ball movement. We played a team tonight that really prides themselves on getting to the line and we kept them off the line.

“We lost game one against them because we couldn’t make foul shots and today we were 23 for 25 so that was really good. We won the rebounding war and we haven’t done that in a while.

“This was a good game for us with 19 assists coming off a game against Cal where we had a lot of assists. A lot of guys played well which is good.

“We need a bye week as we and USC are the last teams to get a bye week so it’s a good time for us. We’ve had a tough week especially after coming off three losses.

“I thought our guys responded well and now we’ve got a big week of preparation before a big game against a really good team here on Saturday.”

It is imperative that the Bruins continue to play with the kind of passion and team play they have in this homeland, if they do, good things can be in the offing.

“They were having fun,” Alford said. “We try to tell them that when you get stops, it’s fun because then we can get out and run and we are a very good transition team.

“Our defense had so much slippage in those three games that we weren’t running because we were taking the ball out all the time. When you take the ball out the other guy gets to set his defense.

“I thought we got some really good looks and we defended well. All weekend we did a really good job defensively and now we are going to have a big-time test next Saturday because they (USC) are a really good offensive team.”

UCLA will welcome its USC next Saturday, Feb. 3. The last of a three-game homestand. Tipoff is scheduled at 3:00 PM PST at Pauley Pavilion. The game will be nationally televised by ESPN2.

Saturday, 27 January 2018 16:09

UCLA Welcomes Stanford

Welsh T USC030917UCLA (14-7, 5-4) stopped their three-game skid last time out against Cal and now welcome Stanford (11-10, 5-3), a team that ended a four-game Bruin winning streak earlier in the month. The Cardinal toppled the Bruins in double overtime, 107-99. UCLA, at the time, felt they let one get away.

To get back into the winning column last Thursday the Bruins used an 18-0 run in the first-half against Cal to take control of the game. The thing that was impressive about that run, the Bruins were able to do so without the services Bruin senior center Thomas Welsh.

The first game against Stanford, the Bruins shot very poorly from the foul line. They were only 6-16 in the second-half, UCLA only needed to make one more foul-shot during regulation and they would have won the game.

Also during the first game between the Bruins and the Cardinal was when Welsh broke his nose playing the second-half with the now familiar protective mask.

The first game also marked the return of senior guard, Dorian Pickens (6-5, 215) and Cardinal are a much better team with Pickens in the lineup. The Bruins learned that first-hand during the first encounter with the Cardinal.

It was Pickens’ second game since his return from a foot injury. The Bruins had no answer for him. He registered a double-double, scoring a team-high 26 points and came down with 10 rebounds, but it was his clutch 6-11 from beyond the arc that was particularly deadly to the Bruins.

Stanford comes into Pauley riding on a two-game losing streak dropping their last two games to USC and Arizona. The Cardinal desperately need a victory as do the Bruins.

Tipoff is scheduled for 7:36 PM PST. The contest will be televised game by the Pac-12 Network with Roxy Bernstein doing the play-by-play, UCLA great Bill Walton analyzing the action, and Jill Savage reporting from the sideline.

UCLA Sports Network from IMG will broadcast the game in the Los Angeles area on AM 570 Josh Lewin and another Bruin great, Tracy Murray, performing their usual roles.

Friday, 26 January 2018 15:04

Bruins Get Back In Winning Column

Holiday A Cal012518UCLA (14-7, 5-4) used an 18-0 run in the first-half, without the services Bruin senior center Thomas Welsh, who left the game due to an injury, to take the lead and eventually defeat Cal (7-14, 1-7) by a score of 70-57, stopping the Bruin losing streak at three.

“Extremely proud of our guys,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said. “We’ve spent the better part of the last three days trying to get back to our identity and who we are.

“Offensively we haven’t been that far off in the last three games, but defensively we’ve been way off. We haven’t been very tough to play against and we’ve had slippage in our principles.

“Tonight we really fought. We missed some open shots and I told the guys that that’s going to happen. We turned them over 10 times at Cal and tonight 15 times.

“They (Cal) are a very good offensive rebounding team but I thought we fought and had some toughness to us tonight. Really proud of them taking what we did in practice this week and taking it into the game.”

Alford has a point, Cal out rebounded the Bruins off the offensive glass, 19 to 10 and the Bears outscored UCLA 20-6 on second-chance points. Usually, this is a recipe for disaster, but the Bruins prevailed.

UCLA shot very well from the line and that helped secure the victory. The Bruins were 25-32 from the line hitting 78.1percent of their foul shots. The Bears, on the other hand, were 9-16 hitting at a 56 percent clip. The Bruins outscored the Bears by 16 points from the line.

The Bruins had three players who scored in double-figures. Aaron Holiday led the way scoring 21 points and a team-high six assists. Jaylen Hands scored 14 points and Kris Wilkes scored 10 points. Chris Smith has been playing well of late, chipped in nine points.

It was a good victory for the Bruins playing with a banged up Welsh and getting a solid win. Alford is very impressed by his senior center and talks about the injury and the player.

“You always hate any of your players going down,” Alford said. “Tom has worked so hard. Back in September, he broke his nose and sat out a little while for that. And in January, he breaks his nose and then has to wear a mask for every league game except for two. But, he just continues to get a double-double.

“Tonight, he got seven points and five rebounds and came back to make some huge plays for us, both offensively and defensively. He dives on the floor for a ball in the second half.

“We don’t know the extent, but it’s probably good news that he was able to come back. We will let the medical staff do what they have to do to figure out where we go from here.

“That nose has been stitched three times this year already. He’s an amazing guy. He just gives him everything he’s got. When I went out to see him, I know that he was most frustrated, not for him, but he was upset because he knows what he means to this team. He’s an incredible teammate.”

The Bruins will host Stanford (11-10, 5-4 Pac-12) Saturday Evening in Pauley Pavilion. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 PM PST. The contest will be televised game by the Pac-12 Network.

Friday, 26 January 2018 00:42

Alex Olesinski Meets the Press

UCLA junior forward, Alex Olesinski, met with the Bruin beat media to discuss the current losing streak and what it will take for the team to get back on track. Enjoy!

Thursday, 25 January 2018 14:06

Steve Alford Weekly Presser

UCLA basketball coach, Steve Alford, met with the Bruin beat media for his weekly press conference. Alford talks about the game losing streak and the importance of the upcoming three-game homestand. Enjoy!

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