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

Marquis Teague has himself a week as Hustle snap losing streak

Chicago Bulls v New York Knicks

Week 5 Results

Memphis Hustle (4-6) 94 @ Agua Caliente Clippers 93

Delaware 87ers 98 @ Memphis Hustle 101 (5-6)

Memphis Hustle (5-7) 97 @ Oklahoma City Blue 107

Week 5 Storylines

  • Hustle snap 4 game losing streak
  • Former Memphis Tigers heating up
  • Hustle defense shows signs of life

Game 10 Breakdown

ACC Basketball Tournament - North Carolina v Miami
Durand Scott had two great games against the Clippers
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Trahson Burrell- 20 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks
  • Durand Scott- 18 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals
  • Marquis Teague- 17 points, 5 rebounds, 10 assists, 2 steals
  • Omari Johnson- 11 points, 13 rebounds

Coming off a two point loss two nights before, the Hustle were able to get revenge against the Agua Caliente Clippers with a 94-93 win lead by former Memphis Tiger Trahson Burrell. It was an uncharacteristic low scoring game for the Hustle, as it was only the second game all season both teams were held under 100 points. The Hustle jumped out to a 23 point lead before a weak second quarter brought the Clippers back in it. It was a dominating effort from the Hustle, who were able to hold off a late comeback from the Clippers to seal the win. It was a solid win for a Hustle squad that was without Vince Hunter and Kobi Simmons for the second straight game.

Game 11 Breakdown

Memphis v Gonzaga
It felt like 2015 on Saturday with both former Tigers playing well
Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Trahson Burrell- 20 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
  • Austin Nichols- 18 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks
  • Omari Johnson- 17 points, 10 rebounds
  • Marquis Teague- 15 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists

The Hustle returned home on Saturday to defeat the Delaware 87ers in yet another close game for Memphis. It was a wire-to-wire win for the Hustle, but a 4th quarter surge from the 87ers made the game closer than it really was. It was a great game for former Memphis Tigers Trahson Burrell and Austin Nichols as they lead the Hustle to the win, while Omari Johnson got another double-double. The Hustle were without two way players Kobi Simmons and Vince Hunter, as well as Ivan Rabb who was brought up to the Grizzlies. In their absence, guys like Dusty Hannahs, Chance Comanche and Jordon Crawford stepped up to replace some of their production. A win like this also shows how good Coach Cyprien is that he’s able to have his team compete on a nightly basis, no matter who he has available. This was a great performance by the Hustle extending their winning streak to 2 games.

Game 12 Breakdown

NCAA Basketball: Arizona at UCLA
Tuesday wasn’t the first time Kobi Simmons and Bryce Alford have gone against each other
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Key Stats

  • Marquis Teague- 17 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists
  • Kobi Simmons- 16 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists
  • Omari Johnson- 15 points, 7 rebounds
  • Austin Nichols- 12 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks
  • Jordon Crawford- 10 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals

The Hustle couldn’t extend their winning streak to 3 when they visited the Oklahoma City Blues on Tuesday. The Hustle held an early lead in the 1st, but a 13-0 run towards the end of the quarter gave the Blue a sizeable lead they would never give up. The Hustle were dominated in all major key team stats. They were outscored 64-38 in the paint, 26-19 in second chance points, 58-34 in points off the bench and 26-15 in fast break points. The Blue built their lead up to as high as 21 points, but a late Hustle surged brought the game within 10 points but they could never get the deficit to single digits. The Hustle allowed Myke Henry to go off for a career high 22 points while Bryce Alford and Rashawn Thomas chipped in 18 and 17 points a peace. The Hustle weren’t completely dominated, but the Blue held a commanding lead most of the game. Fortunately for the Hustle, they’ll get a chance at redemption next week against the Blue.

MVP of the Week - Marquis Teague

Morehouse v Kentucky
Teague is back to playing the way he did at Kentucky
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Marquis Teague gets back-to-back MVP’s of the Week as his stellar play continued. Averaging 16.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 6 assists per game this past week, Teague was the most consistent contributor to the Hustle. When the Hustle need a bucket, it seems like Teague is always there to provide it for them. Omari Johnson quietly had a really good week as well, averaging 14 points and 10 rebounds to make him the runner up to Teague this week.

Numbers to Know

13.2: Since returning from his concussion, Ivan Rabb has averaged only 13.2 points per game, which is nearly 10 points lower than what he was averaging pre-injury. The Hustle have played well without Rabb, but they would benefit greatly if Rabb can return to his pre-injury performance.

7: Of the 13 players who have played 5 or more games with the Hustle, 7 of them are averaging more than 10 points per game. This shows how great the depth the Hustle have and also helps explain how the Hustle are able to succeed when they are without a couple of players. The players have done a great job of stepping up when they’re needed.

66%: The Hustle shot 39/59 (66%) from the free throw line this week, which is about 10 percentage points lower than their season total. Missing free throws is part of the problem the Hustle had with maintaining leads this week. It didn’t cost them this week, but if the Hustle have another bad week from the charity stripe, it could cost them a game.

Week 5 Grade - A

Pac-10 Basketball Tournament - Quarterfinals
A great week for Omari Johnson as he averaged a double-double
Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The Hustle bounced back from their 4 game losing streak to a 2-1 record this week. It was a good job by Coach Cyprien and the team to turn things around against quality opponents. The most impressive part of the week was that both Hustle wins came in games without Vince Hunter and Kobi Simmons, while Rabb only played in one of the victories. The team does a great job of adapting to who is and isn’t available to put together good games no matter the roster. The main concern this week was that the Hustle held big leads but allowed the other team to come back and make it close in the two wins. However, it wasn’t enough to bump them down a letter grade since they still managed to win those games.

Week 6 Preview

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Arkansas vs Seton Hall Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Greensboro Swarm (4-9) @ Memphis Hustle 12/9 3 PM

Oklahoma City Blue (7-6) @ Memphis Hustle 12/10 4 PM

Iowa Wolves (3-8) @ Memphis Hustle 12/13 7 PM

The Hustle have a 3-game home stand this next week, starting off with a matchup against the Greensboro Swarm. The Hustle should have an advantage in the rest department since they will have had 3 days without a game after Tuesday night’s defeat, while the Swarm will have to travel to Southaven after playing a home game against Reno Friday night. The Hustle, who struggle guarding the 3 point line, get a favorable matchup with the Swarm, who are nearly a league worst in 3 point field goal percentage, attempting 30 attempts a game and making nearly 9 a game (29.5%).

The Swarm are lead by Jalen Jones and Charles Cookie, who both average over 15 points a game. The Hustle will have to be careful with the ball however, as the Swarm average nearly 9 steals a game. Ultimately, the early matinee start as part of a back-to-back for the Swarm could cause the Swarm to shoot the ball even colder than they normally do thanks to tired legs. The odds are definitely in favor of the Hustle this game if they can keep the game at a fast pace and force the Swarm to shoot 3’s.

The Hustle will turn right around from Saturday’s matinee with a revenge game against the Oklahoma City Blue for a Sunday afternoon tip. The Hustle will have to learn quickly from the mistakes they made Tuesday in their loss to the Blue. The Hustle will again need to limit the Blue from beyond the arc as well as improve upon all the things previously mentioned in the game 12 breakdown if they want to win the rematch against the Blue.

The Hustle wrap up their 3 game homestand against the Iowa Wolves, who the Hustle beat just a few weeks ago. The Hustle squeaked out a 88-80 win against the Wolves the first go-round, but the Wolves were without Melo Trimble, Elijah Millsap and Amile Jefferson in that game. Assuming those 3 are in the lineup, the game should feature a much more high scoring affair compared to the first meeting. Even with those 3, the Wolves give up a ton of points defensively, so Wednesday’s game should be a game the Hustle can come away with a victory in.

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