Matisse Thybulle

Matisse Thybulle

Thybulle might steal it from you.

BACKGROUND

It's hard not to be intrigued by the skill set that Washington Huskies senior Matisse Thybulle possesses. If you were standing right in front of Thybulle while holding a basketball, there's a 95% chance that he'd steal it from you without you knowing.

That's actually a fact.

Thybulle won't wow you in the scoring department, but he's going to be one of the top sleepers in this years NBA Draft class. Thybulle's defensive ability caught the attention of the nation, as he was named this year the Naismith Defensive Player of The Year. The "Senior" tag might scare some NBA teams away, but important note to point out is that Thybulle just turned 22 at the beginning of March. So technically, consider Thybulle a young Senior.  If none of that impresses you, let us point out that Thybulle was named Back to Back Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year as well. Quite an amazing task, seeing that Washington is famous for running a Zone scheme most of the time. 

PHYSICAL PROFILE

Position
G/F
Age
22 (3/4/97)
Height
6'5
Weight
195
Wingspan
7'0

As you can see by the numbers above, Thybulle checks a lot of boxes when it comes to size for a prototypical NBA wing. He's going to be best positioned as an off-ball guard at the next level, but I can see a team being intrigued with the idea of playing him at the 3 in small ball lineups. His wingspan is what allows him to be so effective on the defensive side of the ball.

BY THE NUMBERS

 
2015-16
2016-17
2017-18
2018-19
MIN
24.1
29.8
32.3
31.1
PTS
6.2
10.5
11.2
9.1
REB
3.2
3.1
2.9
3.1
AST
1.6
1.8
2.6
2.1
STL
1.1
2.1
3.0
3.5
BLK
0.9
0.7
1.4
2.3
FGA-FGM
2.1-5.3
3.8-8.4
4.1-9.3
3.1-7.5
FG%
39.7%
44.8%
44.5%
41.5%
FT%
71.4%
84.1%
71.4%
85.1%
3P%
36.6%
40.5%
36.5%
30.5%
PER
11.1
15.2
18.2
19.7

There's a lot to digest here and remember, I warned you that you weren't going to be blown away with his offensive output. If anything, let's focus on the defensive numbers here. The growth in the steals per game category is absolutely insane. Any time you see a college player averaging 3 or more steals per game, it's anarchy. It just doesn't happen often. Thybulle produced 3.0 steals per game as a Junior and followed that up by averaging 3.5 steals per game this year. Remember as we stated before, Thybulle did all of this while playing in a zone defense. It's not just because of the zone that he's had such remarkable success. Thybulle knows how to read opposing offenses. His length gives him the ability to be a space eater for opposing offenses. He's truly a ball-hawking thief. If anything, his man to man defense might open up a large number of opportunities for steals. Let's not overlook the blocks per game as well. Thybulle added 2.3 blocks per game to his resume as well this year. 

THE FILM

AT ARIZONA 2.07.19

MIN 27
PTS 15
REB 2
AST 2
STL 5
BLK 5
TO 4
FG 5-8 (62.5%)
3P 3-4 (75%)
FT 2-2 (100%)

READING THE OFFENSE

As expected with a Film Room review of Thybulle, there is going to be plenty of examples of his defensive ability. Remember, even though Washington mainly ran a zone defense you can still see how impressive of a defender Thybulle is. Here we see him to a great job of taking away passing lanes and reading where the offense is trying to go with the ball. 

SHOOTING RANGE

Although Matisse doesn't have the biggest scoring output from a stats perspective, you can see the tools are more promising than you might expect. Here we get our first look at his ability to shoot it from deep. Obviously, his 30.5% from deep this year is a bit concerning, but it looks as if he has the potential to grow.

DEFENSIVE ANTICIPATION

One of the best "skills" Thybulle possesses is his anticipation skills on defense. He simply makes a lot of plays that you can't teach. Here we see him just baiting the offensive player into a pass before he's off to the races.

SPACE ERASER

The most impressive part about Thybulle on defense is how much space he can just eliminate by just positioning himself in the right place at the right time. It's brilliant really, as Thybulle just does a great job of realizing that angles are everything on the defensive side of the ball. Thybulle does a great job of reading the offensive players eyes and jumping lanes. His length can make him a serious weapon at the next level, even if he's going to spend most of his time in man to man situations. 

CLOSE-OUT & LENGTH

Another perfect example of how Thybulle's combination of length and athleticism makes him such an intriguing prospect for the draft this year. Look at the room that Matisse needs to close out as the Arizona player goes up for a shot here. Impressive block. 

VS UTAH 2.20.19

MIN 33
PTS 10
REB 7
AST 0
STL 6
BLK 4
TO 1
FG 4-9 (44.4%)
3P 2-3 (67%)
FT 0-0

DEFENSIVE ANTICIPATION PART II

There's a handful of blocks in this game that we could have chosen from. You don't see players these days so confident with their ability to block players shots from behind. Some coaches might even be against it, just because of how "risky" it might seem. But, to counter that point...you also have to notice how composed Thybulle is when he's making plays on defenders ahead of him. Great job of reading the play before it happens here. 

READING THE OFFENSE PART II

Another perfect example of Thybulle making a block from behind. The thing I like the most about this is that if you follow Thybulle throughout the play, you'll notice he gets put out of position to make a play but simply doesn't give up. Great defensive effort. 

MOVING WITHOUT THE BALL

We have to mix in some offense right? Here we get a good look at Thybulle shooting off the move. Catch and Shoot here, and he looks to have a good gather and shows some balance although some perfectionists out there might point out he has a bit of drift on his shot.

BLOCK PARTY 

A nice little example here of Thybulle using his feet and length to stay with the ball-handler then finishing this play up top with a block. You can tell Matisse just buys into the defensive side of the ball, and NBA teams are going to love that about this kid even if he takes some time getting used to Man to Man play. 

VS COLORADO 2.23.19

MIN 25
PTS 17
REB 3
AST 1
STL 6
BLK 5
TO 0
FG 7-13 (53.8%)
3P 2-4 (50%)
FT 1-2 (50%)

CATCH AND SHOOT

C

Just a lot to like here about something so simple. I like that Thybulle shows immediate confidence to put this up. I wouldn't be surprised to see him turn into a better shooter than expected over his first couple years in the NBA. Repetition will be a huge thing for fine-tuning his shot.  

PICK & ROLL BALL HANDLER

Obviously, the first thing we can point out here is a need for Thybulle to sharpen up his handles, but with most young players, I expect it to come with a solid developmental staff in place. I like this as a good example of Thybulle's ability to make plays attacking the lane. Not as easy of a shot as some might think. 

OVERALL

I'm excited to see what NBA team wants to take a chance on Matisse Thybulle. The offensive production might scare some teams away, but the potential to become a defensive weapon might intrigue a playoff team in the late first round. While some might think that Thybulle was so successful in the NCAA due to a Zone Scheme, I think that he could have the opportunity to become a more impactful defender at the next level. Remember, Thybulle broke Gary Payton's PAC-12 Record for Steals (321). His defensive ability is no fluke. Let's see if his offensive game can catch up at the next level.