Washington’s Matisse Thybulle shattered the record books during his time with the Huskies and he was rewarded for his play by winning the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award. He beat out Duke’s Zion Williamson, Virginia’s DeAndre Hunter, and Gonzaga’s Brandon Clarke who were the other finalists for the award.
Thybulle’s 3.5 steals per game led the country and he became the only player in the last 20 years to finish with 100+ steals and 80+ blocks in the same season. This was the final recognition for Thybulle on what has been a busy awards circuit. He became a repeat winner as the conference’s defensive player of the year award while also being named 1st team All-Pac-12. Earlier this week he was also awarded the Lefty Driesell Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Washington will have its work cut out for it trying to replace Thybulle’s defensive production and there’s no way that they’ll ever be able to do it with a single player. His disruption through a combination of steals and blocks was generational and it would be a disservice to ever expect another Husky to live up to his lofty heights.
Matisse is now fully in NBA Draft prep mode and will begin workouts soon with an eye towards being a 1st round pick.
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