Overall Grade: B
Fan Grade: B
Traditional Stats (Team Rank)
7.2 Points (6th)
5.0 Rebounds (2nd)
0.8 Blocks (1st)
2-point FG%: 61.5% (2nd)
Tyler Wideman is one of the more challenging players on the roster to grade. Fan votes for Wideman ranged all the way from A to C-. He’s a great blue collar worker down low and one of the better leaders on the team. He understands his role and performs well in it. He knows his limitations and usually stays within them. Unfortunately there are several of those limitations that restrict Wideman’s ceiling and prevent him from blossoming into more than an effective role player.
Offensive Grade: B-
Advance Offensive Stats
True Shooting Percentage: 63% (3rd)
Offensive Rebounding Percentage: 11.6% (2nd)
Assist Percentage: 3.6% (9th)
Turnover Percentage: 16.3% (9th)
Usage Percentage: 18.2% (6th)
Offensive Rating: 120.8 (4th)
The offensive efficiency numbers for Wideman are absolutely outstanding. He shot almost 62% from the field, good for 3rd best in the Big East. The problem is this efficiency was a result of shooting almost exclusively within 5 feet of the rim. Exactly two-thirds of his field goal attempts were classified as at the rim. Just over 65% of his made field goals were assisted on and another 10% came on offensive putbacks.
The positive here is that Wideman was great at converting his chances, and he didn’t hurt the offense often by forcing low percentage shots. There is a ton of value in players who thrive within their role and help keep the offense efficient, and that’s exactly what Wideman did this season. In addition to scoring efficiently he also helped generate extra possessions on the glass as the 4th best offensive rebounder in the Big East.
The flip side is that Wideman isn’t much of a threat to score on his own. He shot 36% on 2-point jump shots, 2nd worst on the team (this includes jump shots out of post moves from the block). His footwork on the low block is still poor and his jump hook over the left shoulder is really his only back to the basket post move. Butler fans cringed every time they saw Wideman backing someone down in preparation for a shot attempt. He was also last on the team in turnover percentage, which isn especially poor for someone who handles the ball so infrequently.
Defensive Grade: B+
Advanced Defensive Stats
Defensive Rebounding Percentage: 16.0% (2nd)
Steal Percentage: 1.5% (4th)
Block Percentage: 4.0% (1st)
Defensive Box Plus/Minus: 4.3 (2nd)
Defensive Rating: 102.0 (3rd)
Grading Tyler Wideman doesn’t get too much easier as we move to his defense, but it’s clear his defensive game is well ahead of his offensive game. Despite being undersized, Wideman finished the season 6th in the Big East in block percentage. He was also 8th in the league in defensive box score plus/minus and had a respectable 102 defensive rating, 3rd best on the team. By most accounts the advanced metrics loved Tyler Wideman on defense.
One of the biggest problems for Tyler on defense was his propensity to foul. He was one of only 6 Big East players to pick up over 100 fouls this season, and all but Tariq Owens played more minutes than Wideman. And for as good a rebounder as Wideman was offensively, he was only an average rebounder defensively. He was 22nd in the Big East last year in defensive rebounding percentage. To put that in perspective, Butler guards Kethan Savage (26th) and Kamar Baldwin (28th) were near him in the top 30.
Despite those flaws Wideman was still able to have a significant positive impact on the defensive side for Butler this season. Coach Holtmann evidently valued that defense quite a bit, because Wideman player over twice as many minutes this season as Nate Fowler despite being an inferior offensive player. Tyler’s leadership and defense are what earned him a spot in Butler’s starting lineup.
The center position at Butler is going to be extremely interesting to follow. Wideman will return for his senior season, and he has been a consistent workhorse for Butler for the last two years. His upside is limited, but the coaching staff can absolutely count on him down low as a dependable role player and a starter quality center. The competition for playing time is going to heat up though. Nate Fowler has shown flashes of an All-Big East caliber offensive game but has really struggled defensively. If he can make strides on that end he may cut into Wideman’s minutes.
On top of that, redshirt freshman Joey Brunk will enter the picture for good next season and should also compete for minutes. Could all three of them be good enough to push Holtmann into playing with two big men on the floor together? Brunk and Fowler have enough range on their jump shots to make the spacing work, but Butler may have to rely on a zone defensively. The thought of that may make some fans cringe, but the matchup zone that Holtmann pulled out late in the season turned out to be very effective in small doses. Maybe we will see a lot more of that next season.
Next up in our postseason series with be graduate transfer Avery Woodson. You can go vote for Woodson’s fan grade here. Avery will be the 3rd player grade we hand out. You can see the previous grades below: