Week 18 Results
Memphis Hustle (26-15) 112 @ Sioux Falls Skyforce 120
Week 18 Headlines
- Uthoff returns to Hustle as his 10-day expires
- Hustle waive Nino Johnson
- G-League suspends its season indefinitely due to the Coronavirus pandemic
Game 41 Breakdown
- Dusty Hannahs- 23 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists
- Ahmad Caver- 23 points, 4 assists
- Shaq Buchanan- 19 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
- Philip Cofer- 16 points, 5 rebounds
- Marquis Teague- 11 points, 6 rebounds
The shorthanded Hustle dropped another game, this time on the road at Sioux Falls. Dusty Hannahs chipped in 23 points but was just 1-8 from beyond the arc. The lack of size and depth hurt the Hustle again as they started newcomer Philip Cofer at center. They surprisingly outrebounded the Skyforce by 3, but they allowed NBA vet Jarret Jack to go off for 31 points as the Skyforce pulled away late as the Hustle began to wear out.
4: The Hustle have hit their largest losing streak of the season at the absolute worst time. They’ve lost 4 in a row and are 3-7 in their last 10. Meanwhile the Stars, the Hustle’s main competition for the 1-seed, have all but locked it up with an 8-2 record in their last 10 including 2 wins over the Hustle. The Hustle will need to get it together and halt this losing streak before the get closer to falling out of the top 2 in the standings.
28.5: One of the biggest reasons the Hustle have struggled over the past 10 games is their poor shooting from beyond the arc. The Hustle have been the worst 3-point shooting team in the league over the past 10 games, shooting 28.5% from deep. They’ve lost two of their better 3-point shooters in Dusty Hannahs and Jarrod Uthoff to the NBA over this stretch, showing the lack of depth the Hustle have with 3-point shooting. Especially with one of Dusty or Uthoff being with the Grizzlies, opposing defenses have been able to lock in on Dusty Hannahs, Shaq Buchanan and Marquis Teague and forced others to take (and miss) 3-point shots.
MVP of the Week - Shaq Buchanan
Shaq Buchanan continues to be stellar for the Hustle since earning significant minutes. He’s a double-double threat on a nightly basis with his ability to score and rebound the ball. With more firepower back with the Hustle, his passing ability should be able to show off as well since he won’t have to take over as many games with his scoring. Buchanan has evolved into one of the Hustle’s best all-around players this season.
Week 18 Grade - C
The Hustle fought hard but ultimately fell late in their lone game on the week. It wasn’t a terrible loss considering an NBA vet beat them and they were extremely short handed. Still, it is concerning how much the Hustle have struggled over the last few weeks going into the final stretch of games. Getting Uthoff back should help immensely, but the Hustle need to get back on track sooner rather than later.
Week 19 Preview
(Author’s Note: This was written prior to the G-League officially suspending their season. These games will obviously be cancelled or played at a later date.)
Memphis Hustle (20-23) @ College Park Skyhawks 3/13 6 PM CT
Iowa Wolves (19-24) @ Memphis Hustle 3/15 1 PM CT (Inside FedExForum)
Iowa Wolves (19-24) @ Memphis Hustle 3/16 7 PM CT
Game 42 Preview: The College Park Skyhawks have had a pretty solid inaugural season down in Atlanta, floating around .500 all season long. The Skyhawks have been led by Cat Barber and Jordan Sibert all season long with a little help from two-way player Charles Brown Jr. The Hustle should be able to beat the Skyhawks but things won’t be easy as the Hustle will look to integrate Jarrod Uthoff back in the lineup. New Hustle signee Philip Cofer played 23 games for the Skyhawks earlier this season so look out for him to have a potential revenge game. As a side-note, the College Park team should be forced to change names because the Skyhawks is way too close to the Skyforce.
Iowa Wolves Preview: The Hustle will host the Iowa Wolves on a back-to-back this upcoming weekend. On Sunday the Hustle will be inside the confines of FedExForum as they finish out their 3rd game of the season that was delayed due to a leaky roof. The game will begin where it was left off, with the Hustle leading the Wolves 56-41 with 4:07 remaining in the second quarter. The ~easy~ preview is to tell the Hustle not to blow a 15 point lead. With the Hustle (mostly) back at full strength with Jarrod Uthoff back after his 10-day contract, they should be able to finish this game out strong.
The Hustle will then head on down to Southaven for a night matchup against the Wolves. The Wolves have been inconsistent all season due to the various amounts of call ups and assignment players they have had available (and not available). Recently acquired from Denver, Jarred Vanderbilt has been solid for the Wolves so far, but without Jordan McLaughlin, Kelan Martin and Jaylen Nowell the Hustle should be able to boost their confidence with a weekend sweep of the Wolves.
Getting Jarrod Uthoff back should help the Hustle over the last stretch of games retain the 2-seed in the Western Conference standings which would give them a first round bye and a home game in the G-League playoffs. The Hustle will likely never get back to “full strength” with both two-way guys in the fold after John Konchar has impressed with the Grizzlies and has plenty of days left with the team, but Yuta Watanabe is close to his 45-day allowance with the NBA squad so he should be back down in Southaven soon.