National Defensive Player of the Year and University of Washington standout Matisse Thybulle is headed to the Philadephia 76ers via trade after the Boston Celtics selected the former Husky with the 20th pick in Thursdays 2019 NBA Draft. The Celtics drafted Thybulle then shipped him off to the 76ers who gave the Celtics a No.24 and No. 33 in exchange for their troubles.
Thybulle is the Huskies 11th first round pick since 2005 and is the 17th since the draft switched to just two rounds in 1989. He is the seventh first round pick since 2002 for the Dawgs and the fourth over the last four Drafts as Markelle Fultz (Philadelphia 76ers, pick 1), Marquese Chriss (Phoenix Suns, pick No. 8) and Dejounte Murray (San Antonio Spurs, pick No. 29) were both first round selections a two years ago.
Upon hearing his name called, Thybulle said, “I’m just happy to have this platform, continue my career in basketball, play the game I love and represent my family. I try to give back as much as I can, and I feel like the NBA has given me an amazing stage to do that and I can’t wait.”
In the last 17 drafts, at least one Husky has been selected in all but four years (2008, 2013, 2015, 2017). Additionally, the Dawgs have had 55 overall picks in the NBA Draft.
“He’s a disrupter,” said ESPN’s Jay Bilas. “He’s 6-5 but his arms go forever. they are never ending. he gets deflections, he gets out in passing lanes and as a wing he’s a shot blocker ad he averages about 2.5 per game and 3.5 steals. He shoots 80 percent from the free throw line but he’s able to contain ball handlers. Even though they played zone I think he one of the best defenders in this draft and maybe the best perimeter defenders as a wing. He’s just a great young man as you can see. He’s not known as an offensive player but as a defender, his nickname is the disrupter and defensively he’s a savant.”
The two-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year finished his senior season with 126 steals and 83 blocks for a combined takeaway total of 209, which led the country. His 126 steals set the Pac-12 Conference single-season record which was previously held by Jason Kidd of Cal (1992-93) and are the 10th most in a single-season in NCAA history. He led the nation throughout most of the year and finished with the country’s best average of 3.50 steals per game. For his career, Thybulle became the owner of the UW steals record of 331 which passed Gary Payton, who had held the Pac-12 career record for 30 years (321 steals, Oregon State, 1986-90).
Not only did Thybulle record his second-straight 100-steal season but the 6-5 guard also notched a team-high 83 blocks which ranked second in the Pac-12 and were the most by a guard. He was the only 6-5 player ranked in the NCAA top 65 in blocks while being the only player in the country to be ranked in the top 20 in steals (3.50 – 1st) and blocks (2.31 – 18th). The historic marks continued for Thybulle as he was the only player in the last 20 seasons to record both 100 steals and 70 blocks in the same year and is also one of just three players in that span to average 2.0 blocks and 2.0 steals in a season, joining Shane Battier – Duke (1999-2000, 2000-01) and Nerlens Noel – Kentucky (2012-13). Additionally, Thybulle finished his career with 186 blocks, which tied the UW record set by Christian Welp (1984-87).
Thybulle started every game during his UW career, a streak of 135 games, and finished with 1,240 career points, which ranks 28th all-time at Washington. He helped Washington reach its first NCAA Tournament appearance since the 2010-11 season as the Huskies finished with a 27-9 mark on the year, its most wins since 2004-05