Scouting Report: Matisse Thybulle 5/7/19

Matisse Thybulle Scouting Report

Alex Brown

P12 USC Washington Basketball
Thybulle excels at getting steals/blocks from behind while playing help defense as a wing/guard

Updated: 7/7/19


  • Defensive Instincts/IQ: Incredible instincts and timing in a myriad of defensive settings, and so often recognizes the smallest opportunities to jump passing lanes or poke balls loose. His incredible on ball and help defense are enhanced greatly by this. He is a thinking defender, and can play defense on the ball just as well as he can off the ball. He is versatile enough as a defender to be plugged in just about anywhere, and will be quite effective defending pick and rolls with his ability to intercept passes, strip ball-handlers, and read the lanes that will appear.
  • Defensive Impact: Perhaps Matisse’s biggest strength is his defensive impact. He averaged 3.5 steals and 2.2 blocks per game over his senior year, and those are numbers that have increased steadily throughout the years. Posted a defensive BPM of +9.8 this year and 3.0 defensive win shares. He statistically impacts the defensive end greatly, and from watching him on the court you can tell the opposing team worries about him, as they cater their offense to avoid him as much as possible (although difficult in a 2/3 zone). He has a similar aura to him that Zion has on that end, as opposing teams just do not want to throw a pass near him or attempt to drive by him (it ends poorly mostly). Even if a team were to bring him off the bench at the next level he would still wreak some havoc and get a few extra possessions for any team. He excels in system defense as well, so a defensive scheme that allows him to gamble and go for strips and blocks as a help defender will allow him to flourish. The help defense he plays is a thing of beauty, and is absolutely textbook.
  • Physical Tools: Thybulle stands 6’5-6’6 with an elite 7’0 wingspan (+7/+6). This is ideal for the 2-3 positions, and contributes greatly to his defensive versatility. He also has incredibly quick, coordinated, and active hands on he defensive end. He could stand to bulk up a tad more to increase his defensive versatility. His length can disrupt a lot on the defensive end and helps his finishing ability especially.
  • Athleticism/Vertical Explosiveness: Thybulle is an explosive athlete with a quick first step and excellent fluidity. He has even been an effective lob target as a guard/wing, and has shown that he has the NBA-level all around athleticism to guard the 1-3 spots (and smaller 4s when he strengthens up). He can throw down some power dunks and really succeed in transition offense, and has the ability to be a cutter that defenses forget about. He is able to use his athleticism when slashing, but has a lot of room to grow into.
  • Discipline/Motor: Thybulle has a controlled motor and doesn’t gamble too often despite his extremely active and high energy play. A high IQ paired with a great defensive motor is always a golden trait. His offensive motor is there, but not the polish/IQ that he shows on defense. He also has great motivation as an individual, and is one of many in this year’s class that has lost a parent and turned this into motivation to succeed.
  • Handle: Thybulle has a solid handle for a 2/3 and shows potential as a driver due to his ability to get to his spots off the dribble. While his off-dribble shooting is not reliable, he sure can get to the lane and get by defenders when he is motivated. This is always a necessary trait with slashers.
  • Coachability/Mentality: Any player that masters a defensive scheme is the type of player that has a passion for learning the game and working hard until it is mastered. That is always a coach’s dream in the locker room, and can be infectious to other guys as well. He brings some of that defensive culture with him, and he could very possibly turn around a team’s defense if it needs that. He seems very poised in interviews, great with teammates, and has a professional outlook on the game. Good locker room guy. He also has the right mentality needed to be an impactful shooter on the offensive end, though he needs to improve his mechanics. He can really impact the game when he does so.
  • Lockdown Defender Upside: Thybulle has a ceiling of a lockdown defender that can be a 4th or 5th option on the offensive end as a cutter or (eventually) a spot up shooter. Likely will put up Marcus Smart-like numbers, but will have a profound impact on his team’s defense. He has a real chance to be that guy that covers the best player on the opposing team.


  • Suspect Jumpshot: Thybulle has a shaky shooting stroke, and in warmups his shot is all over the place. He short arms the ball often, especially when contested. He does not get enough rotation on the ball as a result, and often has a hard touch to his jumper. He lacks consistency here, so he can be incredibly streaky. He also often puts the ball too much in his palm. However, he has a potential shooter’s mentality, and he looks comfortable pulling up from 3 off screens and spot ups. Overall though, his jumper needs consistency. Shot 30.5% from 3 this year as opposed to 36.5% his junior year and 40.5% his sophomore year. His shot should only be getting better, and it is troubling to see this decline continue, as he needs his jumpshot to be working for him to become a possible offensive option. He is a great free throw shooter though, and shot 85% from the line this year. While this is a good sign of touch/consistency, he needs to apply this to other shooting aspects of his offensive game to make it as a rotation or starting caliber player that won’t be a liability on offense. If he can prove that he can hit that long range shot consistently, he will always have an NBA role.
  • Shot/Offensive IQ: Despite his amazing feel for defense, Thybulle struggles on the offensive end and often gets stuck while driving to the rim or trying to create his own shot. He throws the ball away or gets caught in the air way too often for someone as explosive as he is. At least he is trying, but at this point in his career it is unlikely he will become a major offensive weapon, and should focus on refining and developing what he is good at and what his role will demand on the offensive end. No team will be looking at him to create shots, they will want him to be a spot up shooter and cutter or a Jimmy-Butler-like lob target.
  • Offensive Polish: Thybulle does not have an all around offensive game, and has not polished much of his game on this end. He will be limited to being a cutter, straight line driver, and spot up shooter at best. These are the skills he should polish and grow for the next level, because currently he looks like he will struggle to score at the next level even more so than at the collegiate level. He shows flashes at those levels of NBA level talent, but will never be a true offensive weapon.
  • Offensive Impact: Only scored 9.1 ppg during his senior campaign with only 2 assists to pair with it. He does not really impact the offense that much, and will never really be more than a 4th or 5th option unless he has a major breakthrough with that jumper. He has very close to a 1:1 assist/turnover ratio, which is not impressive either.
  • Age: Thybulle is 22 years old and was a 4 year player out of college. This lowers his upside as he possibly has plateaued is certain aspects of his game (shooting declines, lack of development as a creator). However, his defense has matured incredibly, and has benefited greatly from is 4 year stay at Washington. It showed that with time, he can master a defensive scheme and potentially become a lockdown defender. He does still have untapped upside on the offensive end though, but he will never be a very strong 2-way guy.

Overall Outlook: Thybulle projects as an impact/lockdown bench defender that will be able to get extra possessions for his team in a myriad of ways. He likely will end up playing a Marcus Smart or Andre Roberson type of role, and will be the defensive specialist teams bring off the bench to impact the game. Like Smart, he has a long way to go offensively, and can be a negative influence on that end. However, the defensive impact is irresistible for good teams looking to add a high IQ lockdown defender to their playoff ready squad. Since Thybulle can defend the 1-3 with ease, he should look to bulk up a bit in order to stay with 4s as well and become an even more lethal defensive anchor. Rarely do you see a prospect with such a profound impact on the game from a defensive standpoint, and he will have a very bright future if that 3pt jumpshot develops to the mid-high 30%’s. For now, I see him as an impact defensive player that will improve any defense, and has the potential to become an elite wing defender that puts up low offensive productivity. Considering most effective playoff/championship teams have at least one very good defender on their team, I believe he has a chance to go in the mid-late first round to a team looking to solidify a spot for an impact defender of the future.

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