Oregon Basketball landed another quality recruit in five-star center Nathan Bittle. What does he bring to the Ducks?
In a move that isn’t all too surprising in the recruiting world, consensus top-20 overall prospect Nathan Bittle has decided to play for Oregon Basketball for the 2021-22 basketball season. Considering that the program is close to his hometown in the state of Oregon, the Ducks were a clear-cut favorite to land his services.
Oregon was one of four finalists for Bittle, along with Arizona, Gonzaga, and UCLA. The 6’11 center is an excellent offensive talent, capable of spreading the floor and hitting three-pointers at a high rate while using his superior skill set to win down low. He fits the modern-day NBA game and with more strength and improved defense can become a future draft pick.
The Ducks will take him for as long as possible, continuing the line of elite scoring big men. The roster took a hit in terms of depth after both CJ Walker and Francis Okoro transferred out this offseason. But former five-star recruit N’Faly Dante is still around and after dealing with both academic and health issues last season could be set for a breakout campaign.
If that happens, he could be gone to the NBA Draft, which would allow Bittle to step in and start out the gate. He’s also capable of playing at the power forward spot and be on the court with Okoro, thanks to his ability to spread the floor. There may be some defensive issues with that kind of lineup but the Ducks’ offensive firepower could overcome that.
Bittle is the first official commit for Oregon’s 2021 recruiting class but will be joining Isaac Johnson, a former top-50 overall prospect in the 2019 class but has been on a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Ladder Day Saints. Oregon’s frontcourt would be in great shape for the following season, allowing them to focus more on the perimeter to round out the class.
It may not have been the most exciting recruitment but Nathan Bittle is set to be an instant impact player out the gate for Oregon Basketball. Look for him to start and be a multi-year producer, helping to keep the Ducks in Pac-12 contention.