While everyone was gathering for the Final Four over the weekend in Minneapolis, Matisse Thybulle was named the Lefty Driesell AND Naismith Defensive Player of the Year.
Washington basketball’s Matisse Thybulle is one of the best players and people in college basketball. He lost his mother who died of cancer when was 17 years old. He and his father go to the hospital where she passed away every year to thank the doctors who helped her fight her battle.
After two tough seasons under Lorenzo Romar, Mike Hopkins came in and totally changed his career trajectory. Thybulle could have left after Romar was fired, but he stuck it out, which did wonders for the future of his career, and the Husky program.
Matisse Thybulle was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2018 and 2019 in Pac-12 conference before receiving both national awards. He broke Jason Kidd’s single-season steals record in the conference with 126 and Gary Payton’s career record with 330. Also, he had 182 blocked shots ranking in the top 20 in the history of the Pac-12. Another remarkable thing is he didn’t miss one game, and started every single one during his Husky career.
This season he averaged 3.5 steals a game which is remarkable along with 2.3 blocks per game. He is the only player in the last 20 years in the Pac-12 to have 100+ steals and 70+ blocks.
Wherever Thybulle ends up in the NBA and how his career will go is anyone’s guess. He’s currently projected as a late first or early second round pick. The NBA Draft values offensive numbers over defensive, so that might push his stock down just a little, but he deserves a shot on an NBA roster. If he continues to develop his three-point shot, he’ll be an important piece for an NBA team for a long time.
Thank you, Matisse, for your service to the Huskies, the University of Washington, your family, friends, and everyone else. We look forward to seeing and hearing your future story unfolds. Go Dawgs!