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Five-star 2021 Oregon center Nate Bittle to play for Ducks as expected
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Five-star 2021 Oregon center Nate Bittle to play for Ducks as expected

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Oregon head coach Dana Altman looks up with his Ducks trailing Arizona late in the second half of their Pac-12 game at Matthew Knight Arena, January 9, 2020.

Five-star Oregon center Nate Bittle will stay in state to play college basketball at for the Ducks.

Bittle had been widely expected to choose Oregon, and the Wildcats appeared to have stopped recruiting him recently, but he has listed Arizona, Gonzaga and UCLA as other finalists.

Bittle transferred from Crater High School to Prolific Prep for this season, where he will play for former UA associate head coach Mark Phelps. Removed from the UA staff in February 2019. Phelps also worked with Bittle on the West Coast Elite club.

Arizona has one commit in the class of 2021, guard K.J. Simpson, but may not need to overhaul its roster as heavily as usual next spring, with only two seniors (Ira Lee and Terrell Brown) plus any early departures. The Wildcats have eight new players this season, counting Georgetown transfer James Akinjo, who arrived in January.

The NIT Season Tip-Off that Arizona is scheduled to play in will reportedly be one of the events moved to Orlando this fall.

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Game over game, season over season, the Arizona Wildcats under Lute Olson were always a contender. Over 24 seasons, Olson won or shared 11 Pac-10 titles and made 22 NCAA Tournament appearances.

That’s a remarkable string of consistent success, and Olson did it by being consistent in all areas: The way he evaluated recruits, the way he drilled them in practices, the way he gave them freedom in games and in the way he adapted.

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