Thybulle Sticking To The Plan

Matisse Thybulle (Scout.com)

Matisse Thybulle had been hoping for a scholarship offer from the University of Washington for years, and it finally came a week ago. It has changed things for the 6-foot-5, 185-pound wing from Eastside Catholic High School on the Plateau, but has it changed enough for him to make a college decision sooner, or later? Thybulle has a plan, and he's sticking with it.

"Ever since word got out about the U-Dub offer, I've been getting a lot of calls," Thybulle told Dawgman.com Monday. He's been offered by Washington, Washington State, Cal Poly, Portland, Montana, Tulsa, and Santa Clara. "Oregon called the other day. Cal Berkeley called. Gonzaga's been calling a little bit - places like that."

The Husky offer caught Thybulle off guard. "I had talked to Lorenzo Romar the day before and he was just talking, asking what I was looking for in a college and things like that," Thybulle said. "The next day he calls me and lets me know that they had an offer for me, which was huge. It was something that I've been waiting for since basically my freshman year when I first talked to them.

"I was excited. I was ecstatic. This is a team that I've gone to watch for years. To have an opportunity to potentially play for them is just crazy."

Thybulle wasn't the only one in his family that had a positive reaction to the news. "My Mom grew up around here," he said. "She has been U-Dub and the Huskies all her life. My Dad has fallen in love with them ever since we moved here."

Isaiah Thomas's game-winner versus Arizona in the Pac-12 title is a play that Thybulle mentioned when talking about the Huskies. He also talked about watching Quincy Pondexter a lot. "I liked his game a lot," Thybulle said of the former UW swing man. "He's a long, lanky wing kind of like how I am."

With that kind of a reaction to the local offer, it might be quick to assume Thybulle would jump on the chance to be a Hoop Dawg, but he's taking a measured approach and not deviating from his original plan.

"I'm going to play through the July period, it'll be the last time colleges will have an opportunity to watch," he said. "And then once I'm done with that, once it gets to August, I'm going to sit down and look at every options and offers that I have, and from there I'm going to narrow it down. If it comes down to it I might go on a couple of visits and then make my decision."

Thybulle admitted that playing fairly close to home would be ideal. "To stay on the west coast would be nice, but if a big enough opportunity came along, I'd definitely consider it," he said.

He added that his father and Northwest Xpress's Mitch Johnson, the former O'Dea and Stanford standout, are advising Thybulle through the recruiting process.

"Right now U-Dub is of course at the top of my list, but that could all change come the end of July," Matisse said.

He averaged 12 points a game and helped the Crusaders get to the state 3A championship, where EC lost to Rainier Beach in the last 30 seconds of the game. "We had a pretty successful season, but I still think we could have done better," Thybulle said.

Because the Seattle hoops community is so close-knit, Thybulle has gotten to know both David Crisp and Dejounte Murray over the years. "He's one of those guys that you've got to pick up right when he gets past half-court because he can shoot from just about anywhere, and he's basically lights out," Thybulle said of Crisp, a 2015 UW commit that scheduled to attend prep school back east this fall before matriculating to Montlake the following summer. "That's a pretty tough matchup right there."

And Murray? "Baby Boy, he's quick off the dribble and he's crafty," Thybulle said of the 6-foot-5 shooting guard. "He'll get his guy open and he'll give himself lanes, shots - he'll knock down the three."

Murry and Thybulle both play for NW Xpress in the summer. "We play in AAU for the same team, but high school we're pretty big rivals, so it's fun to see the difference between the two of us when we're on the court as teammates and as competitors," he added.

Thybulle was asked for a self-scout. "Don't throw any lazy passes, because that's going to be a highlight dunk at the other end, that's for sure," he said. "I like to think I'll hit the open jumper from just about anywhere. I'm a pretty solid three-point shooter, but I'll also hit a couple pull-up mid-range shots. I've gotten a lot better at rebounding, so that's a thing to look out for too.

"I'd say I'm not perfect at anything, but I'm definitely trying to work on my ball handling and shooting. One of my strengths would probably be my defense, just because of my long arms and my athleticism. My jump shot, for the most part, is pretty solid."

A year ago, Thybulle was considered a strong local player on the 206 scene. Now he's moved up to a whole different class, and that improvement has landed him a coveted scholarship offer from Washington. "I just changed my mindset," he said. "I'm looking to be a lot more aggressive than I have before. That's just opened up a lot more opportunities for me out on the court."

Will he be as aggressive off the court in taking the Huskies up on their offer? Right now Matisse Thybulle is sticking to the blueprint that got him to where he is today, but as Thybulle said - it can all change in a month. Stay tuned to see if there is still a twist or two before pen is put to paper on a letter of intent in November.

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