Peyton Pritchard (3), guard for the Ducks, pushes past the Stanford defense. Oregon Ducks men's basketball takes on Stanford at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Ore. on Mar. 7, 2020. (Madi Mather/Emerald)

Center Nathan Bittle, who is a top-25 recruit in the 2021 class, announced his commitment to the Ducks on his Instagram page this afternoon, choosing Oregon over Arizona, Gonzaga and UCLA. The 5-star is the 5th highest ranked recruit in Oregon history.

The 6-foot-11 center and Oregon native is head coach Dana Altman’s first commit of the 2021 cycle. He will fit right into the Ducks’ system, providing offensive firepower not only in the paint, but from the three-point line. A scouting report from 247 Sports’ Josh Gerson described Bittle as a “big-time weapon in 3-point shooting ability given his size and length.”

For Bittle to become a major interior scorer and find his way onto a high-first round path, he’ll need to improve his strength. At 200 lbs, he’s been known to be pushed off the ball inside, and lose paint battles due to lack of adequate strength. As a result, his confidence has suffered on occasion.

As he gets stronger, Bittle’s confidence and footwork will progress as well, making him a larger threat on both sides of the ball.