It’s called the bounce back factor, and San Diego State women’s basketball coach Beth Burns’ credibility has it working for the Aztecs.

Mount Miguel High alumna Jerica Williams, a San Diego All-CIF Player of the Year her junior year in 2005, announced she is transferring home to San Diego State from UCLA.

A top San Diego recruit may leave home out of high school, but if a San Diego State coach makes an impression the first time around, the school will remain in the back of the athlete’s mind if things don’t work out.

“It’s a combination of wanting to come home, and I think I’ll be a little better fit at San Diego State,” said Williams, who led the Matadors to three CIF titles. “UCLA is a great institution, and I wouldn’t change that I spent a year there. I just feel I’m a better fit as a person and a player at San Diego State.”

Williams, a 5-foot-8-inch guard, played in 29 of 32 games and averaged 1.3 points for the Bruins. She will sit out one season and have three years of eligibility remaining.

As a senior at Mount Miguel, Williams averaged 17.0 points a game and was regarded as one of San Diego’s top defenders.

She is joining an SDSU roster that includes San Diego High’s Paris Johnson, an incoming freshman that was the San Diego All-CIF Player of the Year in 2007, and El Capitan’s Allison Duffy, a red-shirt freshman in the upcoming season that was a perennial All-CIF player for the Vaqueros.

“I’m looking forward to playing with Paris, and Allison and I have played together (on club teams) since sixth grade,” Williams said. “I’m excited to be playing before people who supported me. This is my foundation, where I grew up.”

Burns is beginning her third season of rebuilding SDSU’s program in her second stint at the school. The first time around, from 1989-90 to 1996-97, her teams featured San Diego talent — such as Christina Murguia, Rachelle Johnson and Sorri Epps — while making four NCAA tournament trips and winning three Western Athletic Conference titles.

— TOM SHANAHAN

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