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Jae'Sean Tate Does What's Right. If Not, Does Whatever's Left
By John Porentas

COLUMBUS, OH - Jae'Sean Tate reached a scoring milestone in OSU's loss to Maryland over the weekend. He reached the 1,000-point plateau in his Buckeye career. 

If you've watched Tate play you'd probably guess that 900 or so of those points came in the paint and with his left hand, and you'd probably be pretty close. Tate has the uncanny ability to score in close with his left hand despite being an admittedly undersized baseline player. When he gets the ball near the rim everybody knows he's going left, yet nobody seems to be able to take it away from him as his 1,000 points attest. 

That, however, does not mean he's a one-trick pony.  As a matter of fact, if you look at the photo at the top of this article you'll see Tate driving the basketball...using his right hand, because he actually dribbles the basketball better with his right hand than his left. It's just one of many things that he does better right-handed than left.

"I do a lot of stuff more right-handed than I do left," said Tate.

"I shoot with my left, I eat with my left, but I like to drive with my right hand. 

"I actually dribble a lot better with my right hand. If you see me in transition I’ll always dribble with my right hand."

Tate's handedness confusion extends beyond basketball and to other sports as well. 

"I bat right handed or golf right handed. I’m weird," he said.

Tate does not write right-handed, only left, but when it comes to scoring in basketball he has a handedness quirk that is hard to explain.

"I like to dunk with my right hand. I really can’t dunk with my left at all. It’s weird," he said.

So why don't teams just look at the scouting report and overplay his left hand? For starters, there's that quirk of dunking right handed, so at least some of the time he is going to his right. Secondly, if they overplay him left that leaves them vulnerable to his right-hand drive. Finally, it's just plain hard to overplay somebody's hand because of how fast things happen on a basketball court.

"Even when I play against guys who are dominant left or dominant right it happens so fast," said Tate.

"You can’t think in the back of your mind ‘All right, he’s going left’ because sometimes it’s just a quick hitter, but also for a guy to just sit completely on a Division I basketball player’s hand is just hard."

That, and despite appearances, at the Big Ten level of play, a dominant hand is not an exclusive hand, so there's always the threat of getting embarrassed if you overplay a side.

"I don’t use my right hand a lot (to shoot), but I am capable of using my right hand," said Tate. "If they overplay me to that side I'm going to be able to get it up with the other hand if I have to."

Player profiles relevant to story:
1 - Tate, Jae'Sean
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