Hustle return to Landers Center for three games after 23-day hiatus

By Geoff Langham | January 25, 2018

Team will host Financial Literacy Education Day presented by Renasant Bank on Monday, January 29

It’s been 21 days since the Memphis Hustle have run on to the floor at Landers Center. Thankfully, Hustle fans won’t have to wait much longer as the team returns to the venue for three games after 23 days away without a true home game.

Most notably, the team will host Financial Literacy Education Day presented by Renasant Bank Center on Monday, January 29 at 10:30 a.m. 3,000 kids from schools in the Greater Memphis and Northern Mississippi areas will be in attendance for Monday’s game. Each kid in attendance will receive a drawstring bag and financial literacy workbook courtesy of Renasant Bank. During the game, the Hustle will sport themed jerseys that will be auctioned off to benefit the Mississippi Council of Economic Education.

Despite the friendly confines of Landers Center, the competition will add to the degree of difficulty. The three teams (Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Texas Legends, Rio Grande Valley Vipers) have a combined record of 54-36 (.600) and two are currently leading their divisions, with the Vipers essentially tied with the Legends (current six-game winning streak) for the Southwest Division lead. Additionally, Texas and Rio Grande Valley have the top two records in the Western Conference while Fort Wayne ties for the third best record in the Eastern Conference.

Tickets for Thursday’s game are still available starting at $10 and fans wishing to attend can purchase tickets at all Ticketmaster locations, ticketmaster.com, the Landers Center Box Office, online at MemphisHustle.com or by calling (901) 888-HOOP.

Hustle Stats to Watch

  • Scoreboard Buster: All three opponents, in addition to the Hustle, rank in the Top 10 in the NBA G League in points per game and average at least 110 points per game. Rio Grande Valley (121.9 ppg) and Texas (119.9 ppg) rank first and second in the league while Memphis (112.9 ppg) ranks sixth and Fort Wayne (110.7 ppg) comes in at 10th. On the other end, Memphis (115.6 ppg), Texas (115.6 ppg) and Rio Grande Valley (117.1 ppg) all rank in the bottom three in the league for points per game allowed.
  • Triple Trahson: Trahson Burrell showed up on the final day at Showcase by recording the first triple-double in Memphis Hustle history. Burrell posted 15 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in Memphis’ 124-119 win over the Maine Red Claws on Jan. 13 at Mississauga SportZone. Burrell is no stranger to stuffing the stat sheet and is one just two players in the NBA G League (min. 10 games played) who is averaging at least 13.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game (Daniel Hamilton; Oklahoma City). Burrell is the only one of the two averaging at least 1.5 steals.
  • Be Lyke Myke: The Grizzlies/Hustle organization made a big move on the final day of NBA G League Showcase 2018 by waiving former two-way player Vince Hunter and signing Myke Henry to a two-way contract. Henry was active on his very first day with the team after already playing two games at Showcase with Oklahoma City and not having yet practiced with Memphis. Henry still contributed in the biggest of ways, scoring 15 of his game-high 26 points in the fourth quarter that included multiple game-tying or lead-changing three-pointers, a layup to put Memphis up three late and sealing the game with two free throws in the final seconds.
  • Crashing the Boards: All four teams featured in this home stand rank in the Top 5 in offensive rebounds per game, while Texas (first), Rio Grande Valley (third) and Memphis (fourth) also rank in the Top 5 for total rebounds per game.

Familiar Faces

  • Hustle guard Marquis Teague appeared in 12 games (one start) for Fort Wayne last season, averaging 12.0 points, 4.8 assists and 1.2 rebounds in 25.9 minutes per game.
  • Hustle guard Durand Scott, Mad Ants forward DeQuan Jones and Mad Ants guard Trey McKinney-Jones all played at the University of Miami (FL)… Scott and Jones were teammates for three seasons (2009-12), while Scott and McKinney-Jones were teammates for two seasons (2011-13).
  • Hustle guard Kobi Simmons, center Chance Comanche and Legends forward Brandon Ashley played collegiately at Arizona.
  • Legends guard and Portland two-way player Wade Baldwin IV was drafted 17th overall by the Grizzlies in 2016 and spent his rookie season with the team.
  • Hustle assistant coach Darnell Lazare and Vipers forward Craig Victor both played collegiately at LSU.
  • Vipers guard Tony Wroten was drafted in the first round (25th overall) by the Grizzlies in 2012 and appeared in 35 games with the Grizzlies during the 2012-13 season, averaging 2.6 points, 0.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 35 games.
  • Vipers forward Troy Williams signed with the Grizzlies as an undrafted rookie free agent prior to last season… Williams appeared in 24 games (13 starts) and averaged 5.3 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 17.4 minutes per game.