3. Matisse Thybulle
If Talen Horton-Tucker has an extreme amount of length for his height, Washington guard Matisse Thybulle is just behind him. One of the nation’s very best defenders for multiple seasons, Thybulle has a 7’0” wingspan despite standing just 6’5″.
Thybulle starred at Washington, which instituted a zone defense under the tutelage of Jim Boeheim disciple Mike Hopkins. Over the past two seasons Thybulle seemed to break the box score, tallying an insane number of steals and blocks. A two-time PAC-12 Defensive Player of the Year, Thybulle is now the conference leader in career steals and has the first- and third-place finishes in single-season steals.
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Thybulle led the country in total steals and steals per game this past season with 117 and 3.4, respectively; no other player had more than 100 or 3.0 in those categories. He ranked 15th nationally in blocks (77), tied with UCF center Tacko Fall — a player with 13 inches on Thybulle. No other guard ranked in the top 60.
On the one hand, it’s obvious that Thybulle will be a positive defensive player. He is a maestro at jumping passing lanes, he has the size and length to switch on defense and he rarely fouled while in college. Yet he reached his defensive peak the past two seasons in a zone defense; how will things change for him in a predominantly man-to-man NBA?
Regardless, the Bucks can use someone with his defensive ability, and Thybulle should be able to step in at the 2 or the 3. His ability to create offense for himself is very limited, and he projects as simply a catch-and-shoot option on offense. That’s a perfect fit in a Milwaukee system based on spotting up around Giannis Antetokounmpo post-ups. With many mock drafts slotting Thybulle into the last few picks in the first round, it’s possible the Bucks will get their hands on a difference-maker defensively.