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The Hustle Report: Recapping week eight of the Memphis Hustle’s inaugural season

A surprising player leads the Hustle to a 2-1 week

NCAA Basketball: Arizona at UCLA Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Week 8 Results

Austin Spurs 121 @ Memphis Hustle 99 (7-12)

Memphis Hustle (8-12) 131 @ Sioux Falls SkyForce 115

Memphis Hustle (9-12) 128 @ Salt Lake City Stars 121

Week 8 Storylines

  • Hustle stop 3 game losing streak with Christmas Day rout
  • Kobi Simmons and Vince Hunter stay with Grizzlies
  • Marquis Teague and Trahson Burrell kicked off American Airlines flight for ridiculous reason

Game 19 Breakdown

Key Stats

Old Spice Classic
  • Austin Nichols- 21 points, 8 rebounds, 1 block
  • Jordon Crawford- 16 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals
  • Chance Comanche- 14 points, 4 rebounds
  • Dusty Hannahs- 12 points
  • Ivan Rabb- 10 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists

The Hustle got demolished at home against the Austin Spurs in large part due to being outscored by 17 in the first quarter. The big first quarter allowed for the Spurs to coast the rest of the game, with the Hustle never posing much of a threat. The Hustle got destroyed by the Spurs down low, giving up 57 rebounds to their 40 while giving up 68 points in the paint.

Austin Nichols and Jordon Crawford played well, but didn’t get much help from the rest of the team. Chance Comanche continued his solid play as well, keeping a spot in the rotation even with Ivan Rabb returning for this game. The Hustle, similar to the Grizzlies, seem to have one bad quarter per game that continues to kill them.

Game 20 Breakdown

Key Stats

Virginia Tech v Miami Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images
  • Durand Scott- 25 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists
  • Chance Comanche- 20 points, 6 rebounds
  • Dusty Hannahs- 17 points, 2 rebounds
  • Trahson Burrell- 14 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 steals
  • Omari Johnson- 13 points, 8 rebounds

The Hustle completely dominated the Sioux Falls SkyForce on Christmas Day in what is apparently a SkyForce tradition. The SkyForce have played in nearly every G-League Christmas Day game since the team was founded and it was a sold out arena for the game. The different atmosphere didn’t phase the Hustle, as they jumped out to a 25 point halftime lead, scoring a franchise high 79 first half points, lead by the hot shooting of Durand Scott.

The Hustle got solid contributions from nearly everyone on the team in the blowout. Comanche played well again, this time in the absence of Ivan Rabb. Trahson Burrell showed us once again he’s an all around threat when he’s playing well as he flirted with a quadruple-double. Overall a great response from the Hustle after the disappointment against the Spurs.

Game 21 Breakdown

Key Stats

NCAA Basketball: Temple at Memphis Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
  • Marquis Teague- 23 points, 3 assists
  • Trahson Burrell- 18 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals
  • Durand Scott- 16 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals
  • Chance Comanche- 14 points, 7 rebounds
  • Austin Nichols- 12 points, 5 rebounds, 5 blocks

The Hustle clinched the 2-1 season series victory with their solid effort against the Salt Lake City Stars last night. After a quiet start to the week, Marquis Teague came out strong last night to lead the Hustle’s winning effort while Trahson Burrell recorded his second straight double-double. The game was tied going into the 4th, but the Hustle started the last quarter on an 18-6 run and never looked back. That run was big because typically it has been the opposing team that makes runs like that late in the game.

This Hustle team is learning and improving after each and every game.

MVP of the Week - Chance Comanche

NCAA Basketball: Arizona at Oregon Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Chance Comanche has come up absolutely huge for the Hustle over the last couple of weeks as Vince Hunter and Ivan Rabb have spent most of their time with the Grizzlies and while Austin Nichols was injured. Comanche averaged 16 points and nearly 6 rebounds per game this week and has cemented a spot in the Hustle’s rotation. Three weeks ago, Comanche was barely playing and now he’s been a big part in the teams success.

Numbers to Know

50%: The Hustle shot 50% from the field this past week, including the stinker against the Spurs. The Hustle struggled shooting at the beginning of the year but have picked it up lately and it’s resulted in wins as they average 48% in their wins. Shooting that well from the field means the guys are in a good rhythm shooting the ball, but also shows they are getting good, easy shots at the basket as well.

66: The Hustle shot 66 free throws last week, averaging 22 a game and shooting 82% from the stripe. The 66 attempts shows the Hustle have been aggressive compared to earlier in the season. Instead of settling for 3’s and long jumpers, they’re attacking the basket trying to get to the line.

116.7: The Hustle offense seems to play much better on the road than in the (not so) friendly confines of the Landers Center. They shoot a better percentage, grab more rebounds, and turn the ball over less en route to scoring 116.7 points, which is nearly 10 points higher than their home average. It’s odd to see a team succeed on the road, but the Hustle will need to translate the road success to home games as the come home after the game tonight.

Week 8 Grade - B+

Chicago Bulls v Brooklyn Nets - Game Five

The Hustle got completely outclassed against the Austin Spurs, but rebounded nicely with a dominating effort against the Skyforce. The Hustle are typically due one bad loss every handful of games, and witnessing so many Grizz losses to the Spurs has caused me to just expect to be handed L’s when we play the NBA or G-League squad. I was especially impressed with how the team came together and played well on Christmas Day against a solid Skyforce team after all the drama with the flight to Sioux Falls. Coach Cyprien showed he has his players backs with his tweets, as well as not punishing them for getting in, to no fault of their own, trouble. Not the best week for the Hustle, but not the worst either.

Week 9 Preview

Wisconsin v Kentucky Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Memphis Hustle @ Reno Bighorns (8-10) 12/28 (Tonight!) 9 PM

Northern Arizona Suns (7-12) @ Memphis Hustle 12/31 1 PM

Reno Bighorns (8-10) @ Memphis Hustle 1/2 7 PM

Game 22 Preview: The Hustle will follow up their game against the Salt Lake City Stars with the last road game of 2017 against the Reno Bighorns. The Bighorns are lead by the backcourt of Aaron Harrison (yes, Andrew’s brother) and David Stockton, John Stockton’s son. The Bighorns have been a bit inconsistent this season, as the Kings have called players up and down all year long.

No matter who is on the court, they Bighorns are a fast paced, high scoring and great rebounding team. The defense will need to make crucial stops and the big men need hold their own on the rebounding battle. Getting outrebounded like they did against Austin will likely result in a loss.

Game 23 Preview: The Hustle return home to play the Northern Arizona Suns on New Year’s Eve in hopes of being the only Memphis team who can apparently beat the Suns this season. The Suns are a great scoring team (3rd in G-League) but give up a ton of points on the defensive end. Alec Peters and Derrick Jones Jr. are the only notable names on the roster, unless you count Cleveland Cavaliers draft bust Anthony Bennett as a notable name.

All have had decent to good seasons so far, but this should be a game the Hustle win considering the Suns really aren’t that great.

Game 24 Preview: The Hustle begin 2018 with a matchup against the same Reno Bighorns team they played 5 days earlier. The Hustle will need to do the things previously mentioned in the game 22 preview, and fix whatever mistakes come up during that game to be ready for this one. Overall, the Hustle have a chance to extend their win streak to 5 with a relatively light schedule this week.