If you ask Jared Butler what “TTG” means, he’ll tell you “Trained to Go”. And coming into his freshman season at Baylor, it was very clear he was ready to go and compete with anyone who was in his way. By his third collegiate game, Butler dropped 22 points off the bench. By game 15, he was a full-time starter for the Bears. This season Butler is running the show, has put together some very impressive outings, and has thrust himself into the 2020 NBA Draft conversation.
Butler is a 6’3” wiry pick-and-roll initiator with a perpetual green light from deep. After the first seven games of the 2019-20 season, Butler was shooting 52% from the arc opening the season, including a 30-point outburst where he knocked down a career-high eight three-pointers. While he’s regressed a bit back toward the mean since then, Butler has proven to be a major threat from outside and will likely be neck-and-neck with 2019 PBC alum Desmond Bane as the top three-point shooter in the Big 12 this season.
Tale of the Tape
As Baylor’s primary handler, Butler is able to get into his shot in various ways within the flow of the offense. So far this season he’s done the most damage out of the pick-and-roll, which will be a major translatable asset as he eventually transitions into the professional ranks. Butler has excellent output when creating his own scoring opportunities out of the pick-and-roll, ranking in the 94th percentile by converting at a rate of 1.085 PPP.
In the clip below, we highlight several impressive read-and-react plays out of the pick-and-roll.
When Butler attacks, he is very patient when looking for his spots around the basket. Once he finds an opening, he’s not bashful using his wiry strength and initiating contact when attacking the basket. Since he’s slightly undersized and will be doing less overpowering on the professional level, a useful counter against strength/length will be his runner/floater game. Butler has already shown soft touch around the rim and ranks in the 91st percentile on runners this season.
Where Jared Butler has really shined this season is with his three-point shooting ability. He looks very comfortable behind the arc and will have no hesitation with shooting the long ball in different situations, as evidenced by his 9+ attempts per game from deep. In the pick-and-roll, if he reads a defender going under the screen, he’s mastered taking a north step to fake the drive and stepping behind the screener for the shot. This will be a situation he’ll need to read often on the next level while he earns his respect from opposing defenders.
In the clip below, we highlight how Butler threatens the defense from the arc and what happens when he’s run off the line.
Butler is also very good in spot-up situations. Baylor will have possessions of Butler getting off the ball, relocating, losing his defender, and sniping a catch-and-shoot three. Butler ranks in the 99th percentile as a guarded catch-and-shooter by converting at an incredible 1.667 PPP clip.
Butler does have some off-the-dribble ability as well. While most of his isolations result in drives to the basket, he’s flashed pull-up and step back three-point ability numerous times so far in his college career.
His only notable struggles as a three-point shooter are in transition. Butler often opts to take tough, rushed, contested pull-ups on the break. It would serve him well to cut these from his shot profile and work on creating opportunities with a higher expected value in odd-man break situations.
Butler’s style of play is reminiscent of young Chauncey Billups where you never want to leave him open from the three-point line but if you run him off the line he uses more craftiness and physicality to get the ball in the basket. It’s very clear Butler can get his points, however, scouts will want to see more well-rounded playmaking skills to solidify their comfortability in projecting him as a lead guard prospect. As the season goes on teams will continue to lock in on Butler, creating situations where he’ll need to facilitate more scoring opportunities for open teammates and take advantage of the attention he warrants at all times.
In a pre-season interview before Jared Butler’s freshman year, he described himself as a “competitor”, “fearless”, and “passionate”, and so far he’s absolutely embodied those descriptors. Butler’s trajectory as a professional prospect has risen exponentially during his 47 games to date at Baylor. Butler’s strong sophomore campaign will likely warrant him testing the 2020 NBA Draft waters this summer. Dependent on the feedback he receives during the pre-draft process and the early entrant decisions of other underclassmen, Butler’s decision could go either way. Currently, Butler projects as a mid-2nd rounder with potential to continue to raise his stock throughout conference play and into the tournament.
Stats courtesy of Sports Reference and Synergy Sports Technology
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