'It's not going to happen overnight': 7-footer Nate Bittle works toward big 2nd year with the Ducks
After a slow first year, the former 5-star recruit has made big gains this offseason in an effort to find his place in the rotation.
Ryan Bittle won’t try and get in the head of his son, but he can lend his perspective as a parent.
For Bittle’s entire time as a basketball father, his son Nate has been the best player on the floor. He can point to Nate’s 40-point triple double in the state tournament his freshman year as one of the first big, “Whoa” moments, but really, it’s been big dreams or bust for this family from Central Point ever since Nate’s growth spurt matched his handle.
But last season was different. As a freshman with the Oregon men’s basketball team, Bittle was no longer the best player on the floor. In truth, he played sparingly, averaging 7 minutes and 1.7 points per game as he adjusted to the college level and the demands of coach Dana Altman.
“It can be a little frustrating as a parent,” Ryan said, “but my thing with Nate from Day 1 has been telling him that there will always be someone that wants to be better than you. You have to keep getting better. You have to get more physical, stronger — and it comes down to that blueprint that coach Altman talks about.”