Stanford signed one of the country's top forwards and Cal's Lindsay Gottlieb announced four signees Wednesday for her first recruiting class at Berkeley on national letter of intent day.
Forward Erica McCall is headed to Stanford according to her coach at Ridgemont High in Bakersfield. The 6-foot-3 forward announced last weekend she had picked Stanford over Connecticut.
Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer didn't announce her signees while waiting on one letter Wednesday. The school is expected to announce Thursday a star-studded class that is ranked fifth nationally by BlueStar Basketball Report.
Gottlieb signed Hind Ben Abdelkader of Belgium, Mercedes Jefflo of Compton, Courtney Range of Stockton and Kendall Waters of Oakland-Bishop O'Dowd. The class is ranked 20th by BlueStar.
Stanford is expected to announce the signing of 6-3 forward Kailee Johnson, 5-11 guard Karlie Samuelson and 5-7 guard Khaliya Thompson. Guard Briana Roberson of Fullerton plans to join the team as a walk-on according to reports.
McCall is Ridgemont's all-time scorer (1,876), rebounder (1,391) and shot blocker (672). She averaged 25.8 points per game, 16.7 rebounds and 8.4 blocks during her junior season.
"She will be an instant impact to the team," her coach Michael Martin said Wednesday. "Her work ethic is what sets her apart. We always told her work beats talent. And she believes it."
McCall, whose sister DeWanna Bonner is a star with the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA, comes from a basketball family. Her father Greg McCall is the Cal State Bakersfield women's coach.
Martin, who has coached McCall since she was a kid, said the forward was attracted to Stanford because she has a similar style as the Ogwumike sisters — All-Americans Nneka and Chiney.
"She wanted to play for a national championship," Martin said. "She has faith Stanford will be making it back" to the Final Four.
Gottlieb hopes to lead the Golden Bears to a Final Four with the help of the latest recruits.
The 6-3 Range and 6-2 Waters are among the class of 2013's top 55 recruits, according to recruiting websites. Range was an all-state selection last season at Manteca High.
"Courtney is one of the most versatile players in the country, and will bring a new dimension to our team," Gottlieb said in a statement. "Her height makes her tough to stop inside, yet her perimeter ballhandling and shooting skills make her a legitimate wing player."
Waters was the California Division III MVP and the Contra Costa Times' All-East Bay MVP.
"I will not forget the first moment that I saw KC on a basketball court," Gottlieb said. "She was an eighth grader who was already dominant, and my first thought was: that's a Cal post player."
Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865 and follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/elliottalmond.