PF/C – 6’8, 242lbs – Born 19th February 1996
In Thibodeaux’s first professional season, he added size, rebounding and some interior defence to a team that otherwise lacked for them. He was not spectacular in any area, but he was solid in all facets, which accorded with the CV he was brought in with.
Thibodeaux made the Mad Ants roster via the local tryout route, and stayed on it for the full season. He benefitted from a big increase in playing time and responsibility on the court when the Pacers waived Ike Anigbogu, and down the stretch of the season, being the leading frontcourt minutes getter by season’s end. In that role, Thibodeaux – who had led New Orleans in every leadable category as a senior the previous season – became more of an interior player and rebounder than as an upperclassman.
Having made his way coming up as primarily a post player, Thibodeaux expanded that over his Privateers career to begin exhibiting an inside/outside game; baseline jumpers became straight -away trailer threes, and post feeds became going out to get the ball. With a handle and some touch, he did better going to get it than in relying upon the team’s limited guard play to set him up. With the Mad Ants, however, and with the distinct leap in talent this meant, Thibodeaux forwent being ‘the man’ and became a role player. He set screens, used his physicality (with a decently strong frame), attacked the offensive glass and accepted a reduced offensive role.
In doing this, Thibodeaux made himself a good candidate to return in the future. It is always an adjustment going pro, and he made it, playing as essentially an undersized centre in a lowusage role very different to what he been just prior. There are no stand-out facets to Thibodeaux’s game; the jump shot shows progress but the sample size is not convincingly large yet, and while he was an effective post player in college, with decent footwork and a particularly good left hand, he was taking on smaller opponents often. That won’t happen any more. Nevertheless, hard work, a willingness to adapt, just enough size and just enough talent make for a useful combo. And that is what Thibodeaux is – useful.
– 20th June, 2019
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