Observing Charles Bassey, Matisse Thybulle, and Noah Dickerson

November 10, 2018

by Alan Lu

This time around, I took the time to watch Washington play against Charles Bassey and Western Kentucky in an early-season non-conference game that was played on November 6th, as I managed to catch it on WatchESPN.  Western Kentucky was surprisingly competitive early on as they quick, agile shooters to pair around Bassey, a mobile rim protector, but the Huskies eventually proved to be too much for them, as the Huskies played better defense later on and also shot the ball well.  Here are my thoughts on how various prospects fared in this game, as well as they may stack up in the NBA.

Western Kentucky’s 6-11 freshman center, Charles Bassey is an athletic center that likely projects to be a defensive specialist at the next level.  As he is one of the youngest players in the NCAA, he may be a prospect that may be projected to have considerable upside in the NBA.  But in this game, though he played well, his skill looked to be fairly raw on offense, and he also had his struggles as a position defender at times.

Bassey is a fairly good low post scorer that scores efficiently when he is on the block.  He was quite effective at getting deep position down low due to possessing good size and strength, and he would seal his man to get the basketball.  He would then score on jump hooks, or go up strong to do so, and he also threw down a powerful two-handed dunk to get a basket inside the paint.  He didn’t seem to use many moves in his arsenal, but he didn’t have to, as his ability to get great position on the block enabled him to score often around the basket.  He did miss on one jump hook, where his moves looked a bit awkward, but generally Bassey excelled as an inside scorer in this game.

He also did a good job of finding himself open underneath the hoop, and he would move to open spaces to do so, as Bassey is a strong finisher around the basket.   He also managed to use a pump fake and went up strong to draw free throws on a put back attempt.  However, he did miss on a tip-in once due to rushing it.  He didn’t take many jumpers outside the paint area, but he did miss on a mid-range shot.

In this game, Bassey didn’t show much passing or ball handling skills, but he did run the floor hard as he possesses a good motor.  However, he didn’t look to set many screens either, though.  He did pass the ball a couple of times, but it tended to be deflected by defenders.  He also was called for an offensive foul when jostling for low post position off the ball on one occasion. In addition, there were times where he didn’t look to get the basketball enough on offense, and he will need to be a more assertive player on that end of the floor.

He did a very good job of rebounding the basketball.  Bassey was quite active at crashing the glass on both ends of the floor, and he would fly in to get boards, sometimes in traffic.  He also managed to get the inside position once on an offensive rebounding attempt to draw a foul.  But sometimes he can take his eye off the ball or mistime the ball off the rim, which can prevent him from getting rebounds or being in position to prevent his opponents from occasionally scoring on a tip-in.

Defensively, Bassey looked to be about average.  He was at his best when challenging shots in the paint, especially around the basket.  He is a good shot blocker that has good length, strength, and timing, as he can swat shots off of drives and in the post.  He also can get his hands on errant passes thrown his way to get steals.  Bassey’s ability to alter shots and change shot trajectories can allow him to be a solid interior defender for his team, but he also had a tendency to commit fouls and allow scores in the post.  Bassey doesn’t always move his feet well defensively, and he will sometimes give up too much space and positioning as he may not always show much resistance when defending his man on the block.  He also lacks elite lateral quickness as he struggled to guard opponents out on the perimeter, and he can get beat or be late on his rotations to allow his opponents to get scores off the dribble.

In general, Charles Bassey is a talented rim protector that has good size, length, and athleticism to play at the next level.  However, he will need to continue to expand his skill set offensively, and he will need to defend better on a more consistent basis.  He may not be a polished player right now, but he is a player that may have plenty of upside, as he could end up likely being selected in the mid to late first round range on draft day.

For Washington’s senior guard Matisse Thybulle, he didn’t have a great game offensively, but he played outstanding defense as his ability to make plays on the ball on that end of the floor helped get the Huskies a much needed win over Western Kentucky.  Thybulle generally struggled to shoot or score the basketball, and he in particular had trouble trying to make threes.  He also would miss shots using off-ball movement around the basket, as he would try to be too fancy on moves at times.  He did manage to make an open spot-up three once, and he also scored another time as he ran the floor to throw down a thunderous dunk in transition, but he did excel as a shot creator off the dribble.  He has a quick, explosive first step to the hoop, and Thybulle particularly does a very good job of driving to his left.  He managed to score on a nifty reverse layup off the glass, and he also possesses good body control, which allowed him to get to the free throw line on another drive to the rim.

He also showed off average at best playmaking skills.  Thybulle did not collect an assist in this game, but he is an unselfish player that will make the extra pass to keep the ball moving, and he can kick the ball out to shooters to set up scoring chances for them.  But he did commit one turnover, as he was called for a charging foul on a drive in transition, though it was a questionable call because his opponent appeared to be in a charge circle.

Also, he did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  Thybulle is an athletic swingman that will crash the glass to get boards, and he can leap up to get them.  He also ran down a ball to save it to a teammate to help his team get a defensive board on another possession.  He was called for a reach-in foul when trying to go for a defensive rebound once, but generally Thybulle excelled at getting boards to help his team against Western Kentucky.

Thybulle did play terrific defense.  He did an outstanding job of blocking shots, as he would rotate and run in to swat plenty of mid-range jumpers, and he also blocked a three, as well as a floater.  He possesses very good timing, wingspan, and instincts, and he showed a knack for swatting it to teammates.  He also would race in to get his hands on passes to get steals, and he also can deflect passes, too.  Plus, Thybule will actively contest shots from all over the floor to force a wealth of misses.  But sometimes he can be a bit foul prone, as he can be too aggressive in trying to make plays at times.

Overall, Matisse Thybulle didn’t have his best game, but he still played stellar defense and showed the potential to excel as a shot creator for himself and his teammates off the dribble.  He is a very athletic swingman that competes relentlessly on every possession, and he is a second round prospect that could potentially excel as a role player in the mold of a Wesley Johnson type in the NBA.

Washington’s 6-8 senior forward, Noah Dickerson had a slow start to this game as he was plagued by foul trouble in the first half, but he played better later on to help his team get a double digit win over Western Kentucky.  He did a good job of scoring in the post.  Dickerson is a mobile big man that can often score on jump hooks, and he has great strength that allows him to often get deep position down low.  He also used an overhead ball fake to score on a jump hook, and he also leaned backwards to score on a turnaround jumper.  Dickerson has a nifty ball fake in his repertoire, and he can draw numerous fouls on his opponents, but sometimes he can miss by shooting the ball too hard on occasion.

He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  Dickerson is a solid finisher around the basket and he also runs the floor well.  He managed to score on a fast break once, and he also was able to score on a powerful put back dunk another time, but he did commit some offensive fouls when jostling for position in the low post on offense.  He also was called for a travel when posting up due to shuffling his feet on one possession shortly after receiving a slightly inaccurate pass thrown to him on the block.

He also did a fairly good job of rebounding the basketball.  In this game, Dickerson hauled in plenty of defensive rebounds, and there was one nifty play where he flew in to get one solid defensive board once.  Dickerson can get rebounds in traffic at times, but he was called for pushing an opponent down when vying for an offensive rebound attempt midway through this contest.

Plus, Dickerson played solid defense.  He did a good job of blocking shots to protect the paint for his team, as he possesses good positioning, length, and timing to do so.  He also has good hands and anticipation skills to deflect passes, and he will actively contest shots inside the arc to force misses.  However, he once bit on a ball fake to get beat off the dribble by a smaller guard, prompting his teammate to rotate, but his team still allowed a score on a pull-up mid-range shot.  Another time, he gave up deep position as he shaded towards the middle rather than around the basket area, and he ended up allowing a score in the post.

In summary, Noah Dickerson is a tough, physical banger that can score in the post as well as off of off-ball motion plays, and he also has some rebounding and defensive skills.  He will need to show that he can knock down jumpers and defend quicker players, but he is a productive player that could be a second round pick in the upcoming draft.

Washington’s 6-4 sophomore guard, Jaylen Nowell had a fairly good game, as he is an agile combo guard that can shoot and score the basketball.  He possesses an adequate ability to get scores off the dribble, as he possesses a good ability to score on floaters, and he also can knock down pull-up, mid-range jumpers.   He also showed the ability to make threes, as he was able to make a quick open three off the catch.  But Nowell took many pull-up mid-range shots, and he tended to miss plenty of them later in this game against Western Kentucky.  

Plus, he also displayed good playmaking skills.  Nowell is an unselfish player that will swing the ball to open shooters, and he can also kick it out to them off the dribble to set up scores for them.  He can drop the ball off to his teammates off drives in the open floor due to possessing good court vision as well.  Though he didn’t grab many rebounds in this game, and he would tip balls to himself to get defensive boards, and he was able to push the ball up the floor on one play.  However, he was called for committing a reach-in foul on an opponent’s offensive rebound in traffic on a separate occurrence.

Defensively, he looked to be about average.  Nowell possesses a good ability to chase down loose balls to help his team get steals, and he also managed to tip a pass to help his team force another turnover.  He will also rotate to contest jump shots.  However, he may need to improve his position defense, though some of his woes may have been tied to his team playing in zones.  Nowell can tend to be late to rotate on his shooters, as he allowed several scores on three-point shots.  He also had a tendency to commit touch fouls at times.  On another play, he backpedaled too far, and his momentum took him out of bounds, rendering unable to stop the layup in transition.

In summary, Jaylen Nowell is a skilled basketball player that can help a team on offense, and he could potentially project to be an E’Twaun Moore type of player in the NBA.  He is an agile combo guard that can shoot, score, and pass the basketball, and he could be a second round prospect for the upcoming draft.

Washington’s 6-0 senior point guard, David Crisp had a fairly good game in his team’s win over Western Kentucky.  He made timely shots, effectively ran the team at the point, and made some key defensive plays to help his team force turnovers.  Crisp showed a decent ability to knock down jumpers in this game.  Crisp was able to make a couple of spot-up threes, and he also used a quick crossover move to knock down a pull-up jumper just inside the three-point line as he showed off good handles and a solid stroke that time.  However, he can be too streaky of a shooter at times, and he was inconsistent at making threes throughout this contest.

He showed a pretty good ability to score on drives in transition, but Crisp had more trouble trying to get all the way to the basket to score in traffic, especially in the half court, and he had his shots blocked by taller opponents on several occasions.  Also, Crisp showed off solid playmaking skills.  He is a patient player that has good court vision, and he can throw solid interior passes as he can hit cutters to set up scores.  He throws good lobs to his teammates, and he can find teammates on the break to rack up assists.  However, he did throw a ball away on a drive and kick play once that led to his lone turnover against Western Kentucky.

Like Nowell, Crisp didn’t get many rebounds in this game, but he did manage to push the ball up the floor off of one defensive board to create a transition scoring opportunity for his team.  He also showed off average defensive skills.  Crisp was an active help defender that excelled at poking balls away to help his team get steals, and he can track loose balls on the ground to get the basketballs.  However, he tended to commit reach-in fouls, and on one play, his team ended up allowing a score and an extra free throw in transition.  He also gave up way too much space on another play to allow his man to score on a three-point basket.

In summary, David Crisp is a tough, gritty point guard that does a good job of running the team at the point.  It’s uncertain if he has enough talent to make his way into the NBA, as he is undersized and is only an average athlete for his position at the next level, and his jump shooting hasn’t been very good over the years, except for his sophomore season when he made about 37% of his threes for Washington.  But Crisp is a game manager that can make enough plays to get his team to the postseason, and he could end up making an NBA team’s summer league roster in 2019.

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