In the months leading up to the 2017-’18 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.
Incoming coach Chris Holtmann might not have much to work with initially in Columbus, but he certainly has a player he can count on in Jae’Sean Tate. With so many departing players from last year’s roster, the Ohio State Buckeyes will lean heavily on their three-time captain. One thing is for sure - he will be up to the task.
‘BTPowerhouse 25’ - #12 Jae’Sean Tate:
- Eligibility: Senior
- Career Totals: 95 games, 2,605 minutes, 1,094 points, 118 assists, 559 rebounds, 100 steals
- 2016-’17 Averages: 32 games, 14.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.1 steals
- Positional Role: Forward
In a world of positionless basketball, Jae’Sean Tate is the embodiment of versatility. He attacks the rim with a reckless yet effective abandon, rebounds at a high level, plays hard-nosed defense, and turns floor general in a pinch. Short of center, Tate can hold down every position on the court.
“I’m just a guy who gets it done,” Tate told BTPowerhouse of his position. “I wouldn’t call it a position. Just a guy who gets it done.”
At 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, Tate may not be the fearsome picture of rebounding at first glance, but his grit and motor more than make up for it. The forward was second on the team with 6.4 rebounds a game, and was the only Power 5 conference player 6-foot-4 or shorter to haul in more than six boards per game.
In addition to his rebounding prowess, Tate is a more than capable ball handler. Given the only returning point guard on the roster is C.J. Jackson, he will likely be relied upon to slide over and run the offense more frequently this year.
“It’s something we may do, and like I said I’m a guy who gets its done,” Tate said. “I have confidence in myself, and the coaches do as well, so if that’s something we can do I’m confident enough to give our starting point or starting [shooting guard] a breather if they need it.”
Areas for Improvement
While Tate shot eye popping 54 percent from the floor last season, his effectiveness from distance left little to be desired. Tate finished the year hitting just 22 percent of his shots from three. As his versatility makes him a player on the forefront of basketball’s evolution, his lack of long range ability represents a legitimate hindrance on his otherwise well rounded game.
Tate’s shooting struggles have not been limited to beyond the three point line. The forward also struggled mightily at the free throw line, hitting on just 57 percent of his shots despite averaging nearly five attempts per game. With as much as Tate attacks the rim and gets to the stripe, a boost in successful attempts would go a long way.
Jae’Sean Tate has shown consistent improvement in his game with each passing season, and this year should see that trend continue. If anything, his numbers will see a significant jump given how heavily this Buckeye team will rely on him.
For Ohio State to make any sort of impact this season, they will need everything Tate has to offer, both in on court production, and off court mentoring of their young inexperienced players. Given his track record, Tate should have no problem in obliging.
‘BT Powerhouse 25’ Rankings:
- #26-31 - Players That Just Missed The Cut
- #24 - Juwan Morgan (Indiana Hoosiers)
- #24 - Dakota Mathias (Purdue Boilermakers)
- #23 - Jordan Bohannon (Iowa Hawkeyes)
- #22 - Anthony Cowan (Maryland Terrapins)
- #21 - Reggie Lynch (Minnesota Golden Gophers)
- #20 - Kevin Huerter (Maryland Terrapins)
- #19 - Carsen Edwards (Purdue Boilermakers)
- #18 - Robert Johnson (Indiana Hoosiers)
- #17 - Isaac Haas (Purdue Boilermakers)
- #16 - Tyler Cook (Iowa Hawkeyes)
- #15 - Justin Jackson (Maryland Terrapins)
- #14 - Jaren Jackson (Michigan State Spartans)
- #13 - Corey Sanders (Rutgers Scarlet Knights)
- #12 - Jae’Sean Tate (Ohio State Buckeyes)
- #11 - to be continued...