Preseason Profile | Matisse Thybulle

by Lauren Rosen

If you’ve watched the 76ers in the preseason, you already know what Matisse Thybulle is capable of doing. 

Over the past three weeks, the rookie worked his way into the team’s rotation through stellar defense and an always-ready spirit.

Following his first preseason start, we caught up with Thybulle and his teammates.

Now, take a look back at how he got here.

The 2019 NCAA Defensive Player of the Year had a terrific senior campaign, setting Washington’s all-time record for steals in a season (126). 

Prior to the draft, Elton Brand said that he hoped to equip Brett Brown with a draftee who could provide instant impact in some area of the game.

Mission accomplished.

At the squad’s Blue x White scrimmage just a couple of weeks ago, Brown estimated that Thybulle tallied a 16 deflections.

In preseason play, Thybulle led the squad averaging 2.6 steals per outing, and 13 steals total over the five-game run.

That’s second-best in the entire league.

He led the Sixers’ high-volume players with 1.4 blocks per game.

On one of the most talented teams in the league, the rookie has already carved out his place of belonging.

“He has instincts that you really can’t teach,” Josh Richardson said.

“He’s been that same player that’s continuing to get better all throughout training camp,” Tobias Harris said. “Matisse is going to be a really good player.”

Following the Sixers’ preseason win over Detroit -- Thybulle’s first start -- Pistons Head Coach Dwane Casey also gave Thybulle props.

“The rookie, Thybulle, is a heck of a defender,” Casey said.

“I’m as excited about him as I am anybody,” Brown said.

The praise keeps coming for the rook. Next stop: his official NBA debut Wednesday at home.

Off the Court

Named after artist Henri Matisse, Thybulle made a visit to The Barnes Foundation prior to the start of preseason play.

Away from the court, Thybulle is an avid photographer. Here’s the story behind the hobby:

Follow Matisse on Instagram: @theycallmetisse and Twitter: @MatisseThybulle.

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