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‘BTPowerhouse 25’ - #20 Jae’Sean Tate

BTPowerhouse's staff counts down the best players in the Big Ten heading into the 2016-’17 season.

NCAA Basketball: Ohio State at Nebraska Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

In the months leading up to the 2016-’17 college basketball season, BTPowerhouse will be releasing a new series called the 'BTPowerhouse 25,' which features the Top 25 players in the Big Ten as voted by members of the staff. All players set to be on Big Ten rosters for next season were eligible during the staff vote with their top selection receiving 25 points and their 25th and final selection receiving 1 point.

Today's edition will take a brief look at Jae’Sean Tate of Ohio State, who came in at No. 20 in the rankings. If the Buckeyes are going to take a step forward this season, there’s no debating that Tate will have to be a big part of that effort.

'BTPowerhouse 25' - #20 Jae’Sean Tate:

  • Eligibility: Junior
  • Career Totals: 60 games, 1,584 minutes, 636 points, 354 rebounds, 54 assists
  • 2015-’16 Averages: 29.0 min, 11.7 pts, 6.4 rebs, 0.9 asts, 0.3 blks, 1.3 stls
  • Positional Role: Stretch Forward

Over the last decade, Ohio State has established itself as one of the strongest and most consistent programs in the country. However, last season was a down year for the program and fans are hoping that Tate can help get Ohio State back to its past heights. His career has been solid so far, but this could be his most important year yet.

Player Strengths

The biggest part of Tate’s game is undoubtedly his strength on the boards. He finished with 7.7 offensive and 16.1 defensive rebounding rates over the course of last season, which are really impressive for a guy playing on the wing. He got fewer opportunities than most big men and still came up with big numbers.

What’s even more impressive about that 7.7 offensive rebounding rate is that it actually increased to 7.9 during Big Ten play. So even when he had to face better, bigger, and more physical players in conference action, he still came up huge on the boards. That’s no easy task.

Along with his rebounding, Tate displayed some efficient interior play (he was a 55.3 percent two-point shooter last year) and showcased a lot of defensive intensity. Notably, his 2.5 steal rate led Ohio State’s roster and was one of the better numbers across last year’s Big Ten.

Areas for Improvement

If Tate is going to take the next step from good to great this season, he’s going to have to take a salient improvement on the offensive end. Tate’s overall numbers (106.6 offensive rating) were decent, but admittedly, were well short of the standard he’s going to need to set this year for Ohio State to get back to the top of the Big Ten.

The biggest potential area of improvement will come from long range, where Tate shot an underwhelming 35 percent from three-point range. Tate will probably never be an elite shooter, but when a player goes 5-for-15 (.333) from three during 447 minutes of Big Ten play, it’s going to be a concern.

Along with his perimeter shooting, Tate struggled from the free throw line last season, making just 51.8 percent of his attempts. That shooting percentage is pretty rough in its own right, but considering that Tate was third on the team in free throw attempts per game last year, it’s downright terrible. For a guy with an interior game like Tate, he’s simply leaving points on the floor during virtually every game.

Player Projection

It might be tough to see Tate achieving too much more than he has over the last few years given some of his shooting flaws, but he still projects to one of the better players on Ohio State’s roster and potentially, the team’s best player. Realistically, that should be good enough to at least get into some kind of All-Big Ten consideration.

Tate might not have the flash of some other players, with his size, strength, and defensive abilities, he should be a clear presence in this year’s Big Ten.

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'BTPowerhouse 25' Rankings:

*- Austin Grandstaff finished with a higher usage rate than Bates-Diop, but transferred during last season and did not finish the year with Ohio State. As such, he was not counted among the four players above Bates-Diop.