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, 13 March 2017 15:12

Thomas Welsh Talks Hitting Three

UCLA junior big, Thomas Welsh met with the Bruin beat media before the Pac 12 Conference Tournament. Welsh talked a little what the team could expect during the tournament, his selection the the Pac 12 All-Academic team, but talking about hitting his first career three, Welsh was all smiles. Enjoy!

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Sunday, 12 March 2017 15:13

Bryce Alford Talks Post Season

UCLA senior guard, Bryce Alford met the Bruin beat media shortly before the Pac 12 Tournament. Alford talks about the the tourney and the mindset of the team going into post season. Enjoy!

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Saturday, 11 March 2017 16:23

Cats Bounce Bruins Out Of Pac 12 Tournament

Ball L UA 031017UCLA (29-4) picked a bad night to have their worst shooting performance of the season. Credit must go to a very tenacious Arizona (29-4) defense. When the Bruins were allotted an open shot, many times they rushed because they knew a Wildcat defender was on his way.

The Bruins shot 40 percent from the field and a dismal 16 percent from beyond the arc. UCLA would have trouble beating a lot teams shooting the rock that icy, let alone Arizona, one of the nation’s best teams.

UCLA’s all-time three-point maker, Bryce Alford was 1-10 from the three-point line, Lonzo Ball 1-6, Aaron Holiday 1-5 and Isaac Hamilton 1-4. It will be difficult for the Bruins to win games when the team goes cold from beyond the arc. In total, the UCLA was 4-25 from the arc.

In contrast to the Bruins, the Cats hit on 50 percent of their shots from both the field and from beyond the three-point arc. From the field, the Cats were 28-56 and were 10-20 from the three.

“You know we didn’t play very well this whole tournament,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said. “We are banged up a little bit with TJ, and I give him a lot of credit. He has done a lot to be able to get back, and has done some things that our team really appreciates.”

“As a team we didn’t shoot the ball well. We didn’t shoot the ball well against USC and we didn’t shoot the ball well tonight. I thought we continued to battle, but we got beat by a very good basketball team.”

Hamilton had a solid tournament leading the Bruins in scoring both games, scoring 20 against the Wildcats. Leaf had 15 and Welsh, who also had a solid tournament, 13.

This game ended with more drama than the game itself. With less than a second left in the contest, and there was no doubt that Arizona had the game in the bag, Wildcat coach, Sean Miller called time out. 

Alford explains the incident.

“I guess they [Arizona] thought I was trying to disrespect them at their place when I called a late timeout,” Alford said. “I didn’t mean any disrespect at all; we just had not won there in a while so I didn’t want anything goofy to happen. Apparently he [Arizona Coach Sean Miller] thought I was being disrespectful and that was his way of getting back at us. I didn’t mean any disrespect and that’s what I told him after the game. I was just trying to set my defense, and make sure nothing happened in a hostile environment.”

There are two sides to every story. Wildcat Coach, Sean Miller explained why he called the time out when the game was in hand.

“You know, I love Kadeem Allen, and we didn't end his senior night the right way,” Miller said. “Tonight was about making sure that we paid Kadeem back. And I just wanted him to know how much we love him, how much we appreciate him, how hard he plays.”

“I mean, he had people driving from the state of North Carolina to Arizona for that game, and it didn't work out. He ended up shooting a basketball on the last play. A lot's made of that when you miss that shot, and he was playing with a finger that most people wouldn’t even bother to play. So I wanted him to know how much we loved him.”

“I think we learned from UCLA in that game just making sure your team is poised moving forward when they called their timeout late that we wanted to do the same thing. Make sure our team was poised moving forward.”

Arizona will play Oregon in the tournament championship. Tipoff is approximately 8:00PM PST.

Now the Bruins will wait to see this coming Sunday where they will be seeded in the NCAA.

Alford touches on how well he thinks the Pac 12 Conference will do during March Madness.

“I think we are all very good teams,” Alford said. “We are 29-4 and that’s what Arizona is too. Anytime you can get close to 30 wins in the regular season your body of work is looking pretty good.”

“I think we have three outstanding teams in this league. We will have to look at the matchups and pairings when they come out. The seeding is always a big factor too. Health is a factor too. We have to make sure we get healthy here in the next five days and get back to the pace that we are used to playing.” 

Friday, 10 March 2017 16:22

Bruins Beat Trojans Move Onto Semi-Final

Welsh T USC030917UCLA (29-3) was able take advantage two runs at the beginning of both halves to hold on and upend USC (23-9), 76-74, to move on to the semi-final round where they will meet Arizona.

The Bruins started off fast taking an 8-0 lead in the early moments. UCLA had a 14 point lead, 32-18, with 5:04 left in the first. It looked like the game could be a repeat of UCLA’s performance against USC last month in Pauley, when the Bruins took care of the Trojans quite handily, but that was not to be.

USC ramped up their defense, forced the Bruins into turnovers and closed the half with a 17-5 run, turning a possible rout, into a possible nail biter. The Bruins led the Trojans 38-35 at the break.

The Trojans scored the first two point of the second stanza, then the Bruins scored the next 12 points to make the score 50-37 with 15:38 left in the game. Once again, the Bruins were flirting with a blowout.

USC kept battling and even were one turnover from tying the game with eight-seconds to go when Bennie Boatwright drained a three to make the score 76-74, but Bryce Alford made a heady play by hitting Isaac Hamilton long to beat the press before the Trojans had the opportunity to foul him. Hamilton ran out the clock from there and the Bruins move on to play another day.

“Really proud of our guys,” UCLA head coach Steve Alford said. “Thought they did a nice job. Didn’t have one of our better shooting nights, probably a game we don't win back in January. We didn't have too many tough shooting nights, and tonight was one of those, and we were able to get enough stops, had held them to 38 percent shooting, so I thought we did some good things with getting some stops.”

“We out rebounded them. 13 turnovers, really high in the first half, we couldn't get to the free-throw line in the first half. And we turned the ball over 10 times in the first half.”

“Second half we settled down and didn't turn the ball over, we just didn’t make the shots we normally make, and we kind of got out of flow that way. But our guys did a really good job of making the plays they had to make, especially defensively.”

The Bruins shot below their season average of 52.2 percent, shooting 41.3 from the field. UCLA still had four players score in double figures, led by senior guard, Isaac Hamilton’s game high 22 points.

Freshman forward, TJ Leaf returned to action scoring 14 points, adding six rebounds, and five rebounds. Lonzo Ball scored 12 points and had a team high seven assists. Thomas Welsh tallied a double-double, scoring 11 points to go with his 11 rebounds and blocked two shots.

Bryce Alford made into the Bruin record books breaking Jason Kapono’s 317 made threes. Alford now has 319 threes in his ledger and counting.

UCLA’s head coach talks about the semi-final game against rival Arizona.

“Well, it's a tremendous match-up,” Alford said. “I think they're two outstanding teams. If you look at it across the board, I think it's two top 5 teams going at it in the semifinal game of a conference tournament.”

“They've had a very, very good year and we've had a very good year. They've got great players, we've got great players, so it's a tremendous match-up.”

“We were both able to win on each other's court, which is a little unusual. Now we face on a mutual court. So, obviously it's going to be a very difficult game, and we have an awful lot of respect for them. We know we're going to have to be better tomorrow night than what we were tonight.”

Tipoff against Arizona is scheduled for Friday Night at approximately 8:30PM PST. The contest will be televised nationally by ESPN. UCLA fans can listen to the game in the Los Angeles area by tuning to AM 1150.

Thursday, 09 March 2017 18:18

Bruins To Play Trojans

Leaf TJ USCIt is the way it should be for fans that live in Los Angeles, No. 3 ranked UCLA (28-3, 15-3 Pac 12), will play the rubber match with arch rival, USC (23-8, 10-8 Pac 12) in the quarter-final of the Pac 12 Conference Tournament. The stakes are immense, as they are simple. Winner moves on, loser goes home.

The Trojans beat Washington in the opening round of the tournament 74-58, for the opportunity of playing the Bruins one more time.

Junior point guard, Jordan McLaughlin (6-1, 180) paced the Trojan attack scoring 22 points and a game high nine assists. McLaughlin has been on a roll, scoring 38 points accruing 19 assists over the last two games. Sophomore forward Chimezie Metu (6-11, 225), who was recently named the Pac 12’s Most Improved Player chipped in 17 points.

When the last time the Bruins played the Trojans, demolished the Trojans 102-70, but that was in front of a sellout of 13,659 delirious UCLA fans in Pauley Pavilion.

It will help the Bruin cause if they are able to duplicate the same type of effort and play when the two teams last met. UCLA did the job on both ends of the floor.

All five starters scored in double figures led by senior guard, Bryce Alford’s game high 26 points. TJ Leaf scored 19 points, Thomas Welsh had a double-double scoring 16 points while tying a career high 16 rebounds, Lonzo Ball had 15 points and Isaac Hamilton 12 points. The Bruins shot an outstanding 53.8 percent.

On the defensive side of the floor, the Bruins closed the doors on the Trojan offense. USC was only able to muster shooting 33.8 percent and that was the recipe of a 32 point victory.

The Bruins are on a nine game win streak and the last time they won the Pac 12 Tournament was in 2014.

Tipoff is scheduled for 8:30 and will be televised nationally by ESPN. Fans can listen to UCLA's game on the radio in the Los Angeles area by tuning to AM 1150 on Thursday (8:30PM, PST). Upon conclusion of the Los Angeles Clippers' broadcast on AM 570, the Bruins' game will air on both AM 1150 and AM 570.

Wednesday, 08 March 2017 15:39

Thomas Welsh Meets the Press

Before the two Washington teams showed up to Pauley Pavilion, UCLA junior big, Thomas Welsh met with the Bruin beat media. Some of the topics covered were UCLA's improved defense, the way the brackets were lining up and more. Enjoy!

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