Annual in-season scouting event gives players a chance to shine
The Memphis Hustle will travel to the team’s first ever NBA G League Showcase, where the team will play two games on Thursday, Jan. 11 against the Lakeland Magic at 7:30 p.m. CT and on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 3 p.m. CT against the Maine Red Claws. The 2018 event – Jan. 10-13 in Mississauga, Ontario – will mark the 14th Showcase, featuring 26 games over four days. Showcase games can be watched on Facebook Live, ESPNU and NBA TV. Click here to view the full 2018 schedule.
For new NBA G League fans and followers who might not be 100 percent familiar with the event, Showcase is the league’s annual in-season scouting event. It gives the league’s players a chance to show their games live and in-person to general managers and executives from all 30 teams.
Perhaps the most important aspect of Showcase is that it coincides with the period of the season when NBA teams can begin to sign free agents to 10-day contracts. Most of the league’s players are free agents that can be signed to these deals and there is typically a wave of deals during and after each Showcase. More than 50 players have been called up during or immediately after the 13 Showcases.
Past participants include Heat center Hassan Whiteside, Jazz center Rudy Gobert, Rockets center Clint Capela, Sixers wing Robert Covington, Magic wing Jonathon Simmons, Clippers guard Patrick Beverley, Nets guard Jeremy Lin, Rockets wing Gerald Green, and Mavericks guards Seth Curry and JJ Barea.
Hustle Stats to Watch
– We Meet Again: While this is the first official pairing between the two franchises, the Hustle and Magic played a preseason game back in October at RP Funding Center in Lakeland. The Magic prevailed 103-92 despite a 26-18 lead for the Hustle after the first quarter.
– Vinsanity: Back with the team on a consistent basis, Vince Hunter has averaged 20.4 points, 11.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.0 blocks while shooting 52.1 percent from the field over his last five games.
– Air Jordon: Point guard Jordon Crawford has also come on strong recently. For the season, Crawford averages 9.4 points and 3.8 assists per game, but in his last four games played is averaging 17.0 points and 4.5 assists per game while shooting 52.9 percent both from the field and beyond the arc.
– Crashing the Boards: The Hustle lead the league in rebounds per game (46.8) and rank second in offensive boards (13.3).
– Hustle head coach Glynn Cyprien was on Magic head coach Stan Heath’s staff at Arkansas during the 2006-07 season.
– Magic guard Kyle Randall spent part of 2017 training camp with the Memphis Hustle.
– Hustle forward Omari Johnson spent two seasons (2014-16) with the Red Claws, averaging 15.6 points and 6.6 rebounds in 99 appearances (62 starts).
– Red Claws two-way player Kadeem Allen was teammates with Hustle two-way player Kobi Simmons for one season (2016-17) and Hustle center Chance Comanche for two seasons (2015-17) at the University of Arizona.
– Red Claws guard Drew Barham was born in Cordova, Tenn. and played his high school ball at Christian Brothers High School in Memphis.
– Barham also spent his first three seasons of college ball at the University of Memphis (2009-12).