(Author’s Note: The Hustle Report took last week off to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday. This week’s version of the report will cover Week 3 and 4 of the season and look ahead to Week 5)
Week 3 & 4 Results
Sioux Falls Skyforce 116 @ Memphis Hustle 108 (3-3)
Fort Wayne Mad Ants 118 @ Memphis Hustle 120 (4-3)
Oklahoma City Blue 114 @ Memphis Hustle 104 (4-4)
Memphis Hustle (5-4) 111 @ Northern Arizona Suns 104
Week 3 & 4 Headlines
- Brandon Goodwin sets single game record for points in a game
- Dynamic Duo of Goodwin and Jevon Carter continue to lead Hustle
- Brandon Goodwin signs with the Denver Nuggets
Game 6 Breakdown
- Brandon Goodwin- 28 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals
- Jevon Carter- 22 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal
- Markel Crawford- 15 points, 2 steals
- Yuta Watanabe- 9 points, 7 rebounds
The Hustle lost another close game against the Sioux Falls Skyforce after blowing a 13 point lead. The Hustle were lead by their trio of guards in Goodwin, Carter and Crawford but didn’t get much help offensively from the rest of the team. The Hustle did a better job of containing Duncan Robinson, holding him to 14 points, but could not stop Yante Maten who went off for 28 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks. Despite the loss, the Hustle can take a moral victory away from this game as they’ve been competitive in both matchups against one of the G League’s best.
Game 7 Breakdown
- Yuta Watanabe- 32 points, 5 rebounds
- Brandon Goodwin- 24 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists
- Jevon Carter- 18 points, 7 rebounds, 10 assists, 3 steals
- Dusty Hannahs- 17 points
- Doral Moore- 10 points, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks
The Memphis Hustle were able to defeat the Fort Wayne Mad Ants behind a career night from Yuta Watanabe and a Brandon Goodwin game winner. It was a great all around offensive effort from the Hustle, lead by Yuta’s career high 32 points. Despite not scoring his usual amount, Jevon Carter was crucial with his 10 assists which has been a focal point of his game. The Hustle were able to overcome 28 points by Edmond Sumner, with Kyle Casey having a big block on a potential game winning attempt by Sumner.
Game 8 Breakdown
- Jevon Carter- 30 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals
- Brandon Goodwin- 14 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists
- Tanner McGrew- 13 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists
- Yuta Watanabe- 10 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists
The Hustle came up just short against another one of the G-League’s best in the Oklahoma City Blue. The Hustle couldn’t overcome the Blue despite Jevon Carter’s big game. It was a well rounded effort from the Blue, with 6 players scoring in double figures. The Hustle lost in large part to the 66-34 point differential in the paint. The Blue got to the basket at ease and the Hustle 3 point effort wasn’t enough to overcome the disadvantage inside.
Game 9 Breakdown
- Brandon Goodwin- 36 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals
- Jevon Carter- 25 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals
- Dusty Hannahs- 13 points
- Yuta Watanabe- 9 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks
The Hustle were able to outrun the Northern Arizona Suns on Tuesday thanks to a strong second half and Brandon Goodwin’s career high 36 points. The 36 points scored by Goodwin is also a single-game franchise record for the Memphis Hustle. The Hustle were able to outscore the Suns 33-12 in fast break points en route to the win. Jawun Evans’ 33 points weren’t enough for the Suns to steal a win from the Hustle and a Jevon Carter 3 late in the game proved to be the dagger.
MVP of the Weeks - Brandon Goodwin
Following in the footsteps of Marquis Teague and Omari Johnson from last year, both Brandon Goodwin and Jevon Carter seem to be rotating “MVP of the Week” honors so far this season. The past two weeks go to Brandon Goodwin who averaged 25.5 points, 6 rebounds, and 4.5 assists over the four Hustle games.
10.7: The dynamic backcourt duo of Brandon Goodwin and Jevon Carter does more than just score points. The duo combine to average 10.7 rebounds per game and rank 2nd and 4th on the team in rebounds per game respectively. Getting such good rebounding production from the starting backcourt has been key in the Hustle’s early season success.
6.8: Coming into this season, everyone knew Jevon Carter could score (22 points per game) and defend (3.1 steals per game) but his biggest question mark has always been his ability to facilitate. Carter is doing his best to put those concerns to rest as he averaged 6.8 assists per game over the past two weeks and is averaging 5.8 assists per game on the season. Carter may get a call up to the Grizzlies sooner than expected if he can prove to be a consistent facilitator.
11.3: The Hustle currently lead the G-League in steals per game, averaging 11.3 per game. The Hustle have been able to use those 11.3 steals per game to average 23.8 points off turnovers. The Hustle defense has lead to easy buckets for the offense, which has helped prevent the offense from becoming too stagnant at times.
Week 3 & 4 Grade - B
A 2-2 split over the past two weeks isn’t great for the Hustle, but wasn’t bad either. The two losses were against two of the better teams in the G-League while the wins were against teams the Hustle should’ve beaten. The Hustle would have continued to go as Brandon Goodwin and Jevon Carter go if Goodwin hadn’t been signed, but they have more consistent depth this year compared to last season’s squad.
Week 5 Preview
South Bay Lakers (3-7) @ Memphis Hustle 12/1 7 PM CT
Memphis Hustle @ Iowa Wolves (3-6) 12/2 6 PM CT
Grand Rapids Drive (5-3) @ Memphis Hustle 12/4 7 PM CT
The Hustle will return home from Northern Arizona to face off against Memphian Jonathan Williams and the South Bay Lakers. Williams, along with Scott Machado, bring a scoring punch that will be difficult for the Hustle to contain. The Hustle will need to force the Lakers to shoot from beyond the arc, as the Lakers are shooting a putrid 26.3%. If the Hustle can jump out to an early lead, it will be difficult for the Lakers to come back.
The Hustle will fly out to Iowa shortly after their game with the Lakers to face off against the Wolves. The Hustle will have to have total team effort on defense containing the well-balanced Wolves team who has 5 players averaging double digit points per game (minimum of 5 games). Led by Darius Johnson-Odom and former Memphis Grizzly Hakim Warrick (!!!) the Wolves have a nice inside-out attack that will be tough to defend.
The Hustle will then return home for a matchup against the Grand Rapids Drive. The Drive are lead by rookie Khyri Thomas and Henry Ellenson, who both average nearly 20 points per game. The Hustle will need to contain those two to pull out the win. More importantly the matchup against the Drive on the 4th is the first of the three Hustle and Hounds games, featuring a free photo with Santa. You can check all the information needed for the Hustle and Hounds game at the Hustle website. Personally, I am very excited to see and pet all of the good doggies.
The Hustle will be without star guard Brandon Goodwin, who was signed by the Denver Nuggets last night via their injured player exception. Once the exception expires, the Nuggets will have to waive Goodwin or another player. If Goodwin ends up cut by the Nuggets, the Hustle will retain his rights so there is still a chance Goodwin is back in Southaven by the end of the season. In the meantime, Brad Jones has his work cut out for him trying to replace Goodwin’s outstanding production.
Thank you all for bearing with me during my one week hiatus. Hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving and are ready to get back to cheering on both the Grizzlies and Hustle!