Despite a career night against Yale, Matisse Thybulle is still expecting a lot more from both himself and his Washington Huskies teammates.
When you first meet Matisse Thybulle, he comes across as an extremely laid back young man. It is only when you speak to him for a while, that you start to realize how competitive and determined he really is.
Talking to Thybulle ahead of the Washington Huskies‘ season-opener against Yale, I had asked him where he needed to improve, to become a better player: “Last year, I didn’t have much of a presence offensively.
“Losing a lot of scorers we had last year, I took it upon myself to work on just being able to score more and be more versatile on offense. I’m hoping to bring that into this season and show people what I’ve got.”
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Sure enough, the sophomore did just this against Yale, going 6-7 from the court to score a career-high 20 points. This included 3-4 from three-point range and 5-6 from the charity stripe.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday, it was noted how confident Thybulle had looked shooting the ball: “I’ve been in the gym as much as I can with our coaches to see what works for me.
“I think I’ve figured out now what I do well and (I’m) trying to just work on the things I don’t do so well and get those up to the standard of everything else. I think that just confidence-wise, that’s helped my jump shot a lot.”
Regardless of his shooting, the Issaquah, Washington native was understandably more concerned about the fact the Huskies lost. In particular, he knows they need to step up on defense and was asked what was missing against Yale.
Thybulle said: “There was a lack of toughness and heart and effort on the defensive end. That’s not Husky basketball.
“Coach Romar has proven that Husky basketball starts on the defensive end and forcing turnovers, which leads to fast breaks on offense. I think that we didn’t show any of that in the last game.”
However, the forward is confident the Huskies will get it right, starting on Thursday night against Cal State: “The last game hurt, we’re all pretty hungry and we have a lot to prove in this next game.
“We’ve talked about a lot of practice and the willingness to be locked in and go 100 percent on defense. That means just paying attention to all the little things and not falling asleep and losing your man.”
Cal State Fullerton should provide a good test for the Huskies. One of the main threats figures to be Tre’ Coggins, who scored 31 points in Cal State’s previous game, a 106-100 win against Portland State.
Given Thybulle’s competitive nature, you know he will want a shot at Coggins. He was asked if he would go to coach Romar to say he wants to cover the senior.
Thybulle said: “In most cases I’ll end up on that kind of guy anyway. (However), there have been games where someone might start hurting us a lot on the offensive end and I’ll tell coach to let me have a crack at him.”
Overall, the youngster will do whatever it takes to help the Huskies win. He may be an improved force on the offensive end, but he’s a team player who embraces the gritty parts of the game.
Thybulle said: “Not too much glory comes from playing defense and unless your getting steals and blocks, a lot of things go unnoticed…That’s when you have to take the pride in yourself that you’re doing your part for the team to make this one unit work together, to get the job done.”
What kind of campaign are you expecting from Thybulle? Are you confident in his ability to show more on offense, without seeing his defensive game suffer? Let us know in the comments section.