While Keita Bates-Diop is grabbing most of the headlines as part of Ohio State basketball's resurgence under first-year coach Chris Holtmann, senior Swiss Army knife Jae'Sean Tate is also having himself one hell of a final season.
Tate ranks third on the team in points per game (12.9) while slotting second in rebounds (5.8), assists (3.0) and steals (1.0).
The Pickerington product also leads the team in field goal percentage (min. 50 attempts) hitting an exceptional 56.9% of his shots through his first 18 games this season.
Combine that 56.9% with his accuracy from previous seasons and Tate currently finds himself slotted sixth in program history with a career-to-date field goal percentage of 55.3%.
|RANK||PLAYER||HEIGHT||YEARS||FG / FGA||FG%|
|1||JERRY LUCAS||6'8"||1960-62||776 / 1,243||62.4%|
|2||BILL ANDREAS||6'7"||1973-75||439 / 774||56.7%|
|3||DAVE SORENSON||6'8"||1968-70||636 / 1,130||56.3%|
|4||TERENCE DIALS||6'9"||2002, 04-06||604 / 1,082||55.8%|
|5||PERRY CARTER||6'8"||1988-91||645 / 1,160||55.6%|
|6||JAE'SEAN TATE||6'4"||2014-18*||538 / 973||55.3%|
Considering Tate entered the 2018-18 season with a career field goal percentage of 54.9%, his sharpshooting this season has added four tenths of a point to his career mark.
Early on, it didn't look like Tate could make a run at passing names like Perry Carter and maybe Terence Dials on the all-time list as he hit on just 52.4% of his shots through his first eight games this season.
Tate connected on all 10 of his shots against Northeastern back in mid-November but in the following four games against Gonzaga, Stanford, Butler and Clemson, he connected on only 40.5% of his field goal attempts (17/42).
From there however, starting with an early-December tilt in Madison when he hit on seven of eight attempts against Wisconsin, Tate has been on fire draining a ridiculous 61.2% of his shots (52/85) over the last 10 games.
In fact, Tate shot at least 50% in nine of those 10 games and he's tearing up the nets hitting 58.7% of his field goal attempts through five conference games.
Tate's scorching run of late – and his career marksmanship rate overall – is made all the more impressive when you consider his height.
|YEAR||FG / FGA||FG%|
|2017-18*||95 / 167||56.9%|
|2016-17||182 / 333||54.7%|
|2015-16||135 / 259||52.1%|
|2014-15||126 / 214||58.9%|
|TOTAL||538 / 973||55.3%|
Most guys standing 6-foot-4 aren't going to shoot as accurately as Tate's been able to do because they generally have to take shots further away from the hoop.
To Tate's credit, his rugged style, a never-ending motor, and skill for creating space to shoot in close has served him well.
While he may be sixth all-time in school history for field goal accuracy, all five of the guys in front of him stood at least three inches taller.
I'd offer, somewhat tongue in cheek but totally accurate, Tate would be closing in even faster on the guys in front of him if not for his desire to launch a three-pointer every now and then despite being a 26.1% career shooter from distance (30/115).
That fact aside, while you're marveling at his consistent tenacity which serves as the team's heartbeat, don't forget to notice just how efficient Tate is at putting the biscuit in the basket because he's doing it at a clip seldom seen in Columbus.