Hustle take off on three-game west coast trip

By Geoff Langham | February 27, 2018

After snapping a five-game losing streak Saturday against the Reno Bighorns, the Memphis Hustle depart for a three-game west coast trip spanning from February 28-March 4 against the South Bay Lakers, Northern Arizona Suns and Santa Cruz Warriors.

None of these opponents have been strangers to the Hustle, with Memphis compiling a 2-2 record over four meetings. In the Hustle’s previous trip to South Bay, it looked like the team was going to score a road win over one of the league’s top teams before South Bay prevailed 137-132.

Hustle fans likely remember the team’s gutsy six-man win against the Northern Arizona Suns on New Year’s Eve, but Wednesday’s matchup at Landers Center provided a gutsy effort as well with the Hustle overcoming a 17-point deficit before losing 120-119.

The team’s lone meeting with Santa Cruz on December 15 wasn’t short on excitement either as the Hustle snapped a four-game losing streak to defeat the Warriors 123-115 despite a 56.4 percent shooting effort from the field by Santa Cruz.

Tickets for the next home game on Saturday, March 10 at noon against the Santa Cruz Warriors 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.

Saturday’s game is one of two games where fans can take advantage of the ‘Double Dip Deal’. For just $30, fans will receive a Plaza III ticket to the Hustle game at noon along with a Silver level ticket to the RiverKings game that evening at Landers Center. Additionally, fans who purchase tickets here will also receive Hustle sunglasses, a RiverKings hat and a coupon good for free cheese dip at Maria’s Cantina.

Additionally, the Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Deal will also be available. Fans can purchase a Plaza IV ticket, a Coca-Cola fountain drink and a Personal Pan Domino’s Pizza for one low price of $14.

For the remainder of the 2017-18 regular season, fans who bring their receipt from any Tanger Outlet store (5205 Airways Blvd, Southaven, MS 38671) to the Landers Center Box Office will receive a free Hustle game ticket with the purchase of another ticket. In return, fans who bring their Hustle game ticket to shopper services at Tanger Outlets will receive a free coupon book, good for great deals. For more details, visit memphishustle.com.

Hustle Stats to Watch

–  Omari On Point: Omari Johnson has participated in three of the four games played against these three opponents, averaging 27.3 points per game. Over his last six games overall Johnson is averaging 20.8 points per game.

–  No FaTeague: Marquis Teague has played in 40 of the Hustle’s 41 games this season and is one of two players (Quinn Cook, Santa Cruz) averaging at least 16.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists while shooting 43 percent or better from three-point range.

– Points Taken: All three opponents rank in the top 10 in the NBA G League in scoring, including Northern Arizona (118.1 ppg) who ranks third and South Bay (117.6 ppg), who ranks fourth. The Hustle (112.6 ppg) are currently one spot ahead of Santa Cruz (111.1 ppg) in seventh.

– Lakeshow: The South Bay Lakers feature two of the league’s top passers in Scott Machado (8.7 apg) and Alex Caruso (7.4 apg). Machado ranks second in the league in assists per game, while Caruso falls just short in games played to qualify and would otherwise rank ninth in the league.

Familiar Faces

–  Hustle assistant coach Brett Burman and L.A. Lakers assignee Thomas Bryant were both at Indiana University from 2015-17 when Burman was director of operations.

–  Hustle head coach Glynn Cyprien coached Lakers guard Alex Caruso for two seasons (2012-14) when Cyprien was an assistant coach at Texas A&M.

– Hustle forward Omari Johnson and Lakers guard Gary Payton II both played collegiately at Oregon State.

–  Suns assistant coach Earl Barron played at the University of Memphis from 1999-2003 and is a native of Clarksdale, Miss.

–  Hustle guard Mark Tyndale and Suns forwards Lavoy Allen and Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson all played collegiately at Temple.

–  Tyndale and Allen were teammates for one season (2007-08).

– Hustle assistant coach Sean Dockery and Warriors two-way player Quinn Cook both played collegiately at Duke University.

– Hustle guard Marquis Teague and Warriors forward Terrence Jones were teammates for one season at the University of Kentucky (2011-12).