Height/Weight: 6’5, 195 lbs
When talking about strengths for Mattise Thybulle, we of course need to start with his ability on defense because it’s a sight to behold. Thybulle plays up top in the 2-3 zone for Washington and is an absolute pest. His long arms are so irritating for the opposition as he cuts of passing lanes beyond effectively.
The factors that contribute to him being such a great defender are his quick feet, motor, defensive positioning, and instincts. He has some of the quickest feet we’ve seen in college this year.
Matisse has some very impressive hops too. That length coupled with his athleticism makes him a feared leaper on both ends. Cuts off passing lanes better than anyone on the collegiate level and can help on the offensive glass with those long arms as well. Really it’s both sides of the ball that he impresses.
That motor that Thybulle possesses is so alluring. Many of his steals and blocks come from him being extremely active on defense. He always seems to bring incredible help defense when warranted and is very sneaky. That’s what leads to many of his forced turnovers coming from behind the ball handler.
His rebounding numbers will not stand out to you, but we think that is just a result of the zone that they play. He’s consistently active on the offensive boards and we think that if he wasn’t up top in the 2-3 zone, then his defensive rebounding numbers would look a lot more impressive. We would definitely characterize him as a plus rebounder for his size with that being said.
Thybulle’s future in the NBA is as a 3 and D player. And a good one at that. He has shown the ability to spot up and hit threes off the catch. He has his hands in ready position to catch and go up immediately. The shot is actually pretty nice and he brings a good stroke with it.
Matisse’s offensive game is not complete by any means, but he is ever improving. He has shown the ability to put the ball down and attack the rim while finishing at a productive rate. He loves to use that running floater off of the glass consistently. That’s his bread and butter.
We can see him turning into a solid slasher at the next level. He’s a high IQ player on both ends and just as he cuts passing lanes effectively on the defensive end, he can cut to the basket and create open passing lanes for teammates offensively.
Thybulle’s main weakness is his left hand. He rarely goes to it, if at all. Every time we’ve watched him play, he’ll use that running floater as he drives left instead of going to his left hand. He’s able to finish with that floater easily at this level because he can get up over most defenders, but that won’t be the same case in the NBA. He is fine with putting the ball down with his left, but rarely does he elect to try to finish with it.
We are unsure of how good Thybulle is off ball on defense. That’s what happens when teams play zone defense. Obviously we are in love with his defensive game and think he’s a great helper. But zone defenses sometimes allow you to ball watch and help off a lot more than in man defenses. It’s not necessarily a weakness for Thybulle, but just a concern and something that we should monitor as he transitions to the next level.
Consistency is the name of the game for Matisse. He has been all over the place shooting from deep through his four years in college. During his sophomore year, he was above 40% from deep, but ever since he’s been hovering around that 35% line and even lower this season. If he isn’t able to make that consistent, he will be a liability defensively. It’s the difference between projecting him as a 3 and D star, or just claiming him as the next defensive stopper in Andre Roberson.
Thybulle also needs work on his creation game. His ball handling is fine, but nothing to get excited about. It gives him the ability to drive to the rim in college without turning it over, but it won’t get him passed NBA talented defenders. We believe his future is as a three point spot up shooter while being a willing slasher, but if that three point shot doesn’t become consistent, as mentioned, then he is going to have to tighten up that handle and show some creation skill.
Unlike many prospects in this draft, you know what you are at least going to get from Thybulle. He is going to put in constant work on defense and force a ton of turnovers. If he put on just 10 pounds of muscle, we could see him being one of the best lock-down defenders in the NBA.
The offensive game is what has us hesitating to name him one of the best players already in this upcoming draft. Regardless, he is a stud and don’t be surprised to see an established team, looking for some wing help, trade up in the draft to select Matisse Thybulle in the late lottery.