Davis, Rabb join team on assignment
The Memphis Hustle seized an opportunity to get some work in on the main floor at FedExForum on Friday as the team ran through drills and held a structured scrimmage with referees.
Prior to the scrimmage, the Grizzlies assigned second-year center Deyonta Davis and rookie forward Ivan Rabb to the Hustle to participate in Friday’s extended workout. Hustle coach Glynn Cyprien liked what he saw in the controlled setting and enjoyed having Davis and Rabb take part in the scrimmage.
“I thought it was good,” Cyprien said Friday. “I thought it was good to have our NBA guys down today, to have Kobi, DD and Ivan Rabb. Those guys brought a certain amount of energy, a certain amount of professionalism. Obviously, they do know how to play. I thought it really helped our chemistry. I thought all of those guys played well.”
The goal of Friday’s scrimmage was to create competition with roster cuts looming.
“We’ve got guys competing for spots,” Cyprien explained. “We’ve got to make some tough decisions in terms of cutting our roster down and getting ready for opening night. I thought, overall, there was a lot of competition out there and the guys really played hard.”
Memphis exemplifies the benefit of close proximity between parent NBA club and G League affiliate. The Hustle took advantage of that proximity during day four of training camp with the assignments of Davis and Rabb. It gave the duo a chance to get on the court to develop chemistry with Hustle players and also to get in some extra conditioning, considering the Grizzlies had a scheduled day off Friday on the heels of a back-to-back set Wednesday and Thursday against the Dallas Mavericks.
“I think it’s huge,” Cyprien said of the Davis and Rabb joining the Hustle for a day of work. “That’s what this is about, the [NBA] G League, developing those guys and having good chemistry with the NBA guys as well. I think it’s huge whenever we can get these guys down here to practice with us.”
One player that stood out during Friday’s scrimmage was two-way player Vince Hunter, a 6-8 forward who showed his versatility by hitting corner threes as well as throwing down vicious dunks in transition.
“I’m not surprised,” Cyprien said of Hunter’s play. “Vince is a good player and he understands the league. He brings it every day, so I’m not surprised at the way he plays. My goal for him is to be a leader on the floor and off the floor, because he understands what it’s like to be a professional and he’s a little bit older than our younger guys.”
The 2017 Hustle Training Camp, presented by Select Physical Therapy, continues Saturday in preparation for Monday’s preseason matchup against the Lakeland Magic at RP Funding Center in Lakeland, Fla.
Fans will have two opportunities to catch the Hustle on opening weekend at Landers Center, starting with the inaugural regular-season home opener against the Sioux Falls Skyforce on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. The Hustle will then take on the Salt Lake City Stars on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 5 p.m.
Single game tickets are now available for all Hustle games here.