Two years ago, Matisse Thybulle played for a sad Washington side that finished the season 9-22 with 13 straight losses. The coach Lorenzo Romar. Enter the former Syracuse assistant, Mike Hopkins.
The tide changed immediately. Washington won an offer of NIT the following year after a mark of 20-12. This year, the Huskies broke a record of 26-7 and a regular Pac-12 season title.
Thybulle's professional prospects have improved along with the success of his team. This 6-foot-6, 200-pound ball is one of the best defensive dams on the west coast. He averages 2.3 blocks and 3.5 steals a fight (the latter heads the nation).
While his 9.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game are solid, he thinks he can make a name for himself in the NBA as a defender of choice. Entering Saturday's Pac-12 tournament championship against Oregon (10:30 pm EST, ESPN), Thybulle will prove himself against fellow NBA hopeful Louis King.
Thybulle held King only 7 points in the last Huskies-Ducks tie (55-47 win in Oregon).
Is an exceptional defense enough for a team to take it off in this summer's repechage? Let's dive into his NBA prognoses, as well as simulations of ladies and big paintings.
Matisse's Thybulle Project and Layout Project
Jeremy Woo of SI.com ranks him at prospect 47 on his latest draft mock. He even praises for his "nice shot."
Thybulle remains one of the most intriguing defensive potentials in this class, with great length and natural ability that should be disturbing even outside the context of Washington's Zone 2-3. He blocks the shots, searches for the flight and has a tangible influence on that side of the ball – even if he does not block the players head-to-head, his off-ball defense alone could make it playable. Its likely versatility at this end, coupled with a three-point stroke that can be bought at any price, makes it a tempting, low-risk, and highly profitable choice in the second round. He is not a threat of volume as a scorer, but he has a nice strike that could translate well. Thybulle does not hunt or force his own shot. He is a good baseball player and could become an effective, albeit somewhat limited, part of someone's rotation.
Bryan Kalbrosky from Hoops Hype shows in his fake global project that Thybulle is an almost consensual choice for the second round. One of the highest of these simulacra is NBA Draft Net, which ranks him 42nd in the Atlanta Hawks.
Our own Jon Adams leaves it of his latest draft mock.
Nassir Little NBA Draft Grand Council Ranking
Aran Smith NBA Draft Net to him as the No. 55 player in his list of the 100 best prospects.
ESPN Editorial Board He is the No. 7 forward and No. 36 overall, placing him right behind Jalen Horton-Tucker of Iowa State, KZ Okpala of Stanford and Keldon Johnson of Kentucky.
Brandon Anderson from Medium gave Thybulle a thorough screening report in February and compared it to Tony Allen, a six-time member of the All-NBA defense team.
Thybulle will still be the fifth player in an NBA offense, but athletics, dribbling and shooting seem promising enough to prevent him from getting Tony Allen's treatment. On the defensive, he will be the leader of the team with the possibility of keeping one to four or even five in a small formation. As a college player, Thybulle reminds me of Robbie Hummel in an NBA corps, a veteran team player who leads with drive, energy, defense and communication. In the NBA, he might look like P.J. Tucker. He has the size and the strength to face bigger players. It would be a threat if we chose smaller guards in a pick-and-roll. Many teams want a player like that in the modern NBA.
In an NBA that requires greater positioning flexibility, especially in defense, Thybulle could become a valuable asset to a lucky franchise.