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Recruiting expert says Oregon has ‘minimal’ lead on Arizona for Nathan Bittle

USA Basketball

If the Arizona Wildcats don’t land Nathan Bittle, they’re probably going to have to face him one day.

Eric Bossi of ranked the contenders to land the 2021 center, and Arizona is second behind the Oregon Ducks. Barely.

“If there is even any separation between Arizona and Oregon it is minimal at best,” Bossi wrote. “Bittle has been to Tucson, and Sean Miller has invested a lot of time into his recruitment. It should also be noted that players from Bittle’s summer program, West Coast Elite, have enjoyed success with the Wildcats and there is a good chance that two of his former teammates, Josh Green and Nico Mannion, could be selected in the first round of this year’s NBA Draft. That wouldn’t hurt.”

UCLA and Gonzaga are the others involved in Bittle’s recruitment at this point. He recently announced his final four.

Oregon has the geographical advantage, as Bittle hails from Central Point, Oregon—about two and a half hours from Eugene.

All three 247Sports Crystal Ball Predictions have Bittle becoming a Duck. Whoever lands him will be getting a top-10 prospect and the No. 2 center in the country.

Just under 7-feet tall, Bittle averaged 25.0 points, 11 rebounds, 4.5 blocks and 2.5 assists as a junior at Crater High School.

“Talented center with good size and long arms,” reads Bittle’s 247Sports scouting report. “Decent athlete, which could improve with strength. Still physically immature but has the shoulders and base to put on weight in time. Has big-time weapon in 3-point shooting ability given his size and length. Gets pushed off the block at times due to lack of strength but has go-to move in right hook. Rebounds area and passes well for position. Respectable rim protector for age and physical immaturity. Improving his footwork and confidence inside will be big but strength should go a long way there. Projects as successful high major center. Any reasonable jump athletically and/or as interior scorer should put him on the first round path.”