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NC State WBB with Monstrous Thanksgiving Day Game

Women's Basketball

NC State WBB with Monstrous Thanksgiving Day Game

NC State WBB with Monstrous Thanksgiving Day Game

It’s 11am on Thanksgiving day. The aroma of turkey hasn’t even made it’s way throughout the house. Maybe the parade is on in the background, but folks are just hanging out waiting for arrivals.

Meanwhile, a HUGE State game is tipping off.

Thursday, #5 NC State faces #2 Maryland down in the Bahamas, as part of the Baha Mar Hoops Tourney.

 

State Finding Their Footing

Two things have become abundantly clear the last few weeks; South Carolina is legit and State has refocused.

Coming out of the loss in the season opener, State didn’t look right. They were uptight and a step behind the Gamecocks. By no means whipped off the floor, but just unable to get in a groove to make a run. South Carolina has gone on to win their next five games by an average of 25, including a 17-point win over #9 Oregon and a 16-point win over #2 UCONN. That 9-point loss don’t look too shabby, huh?

State has found their shooting touch since that South Carolina loss. Scoring an average of 91 points a game, State has rolled over their competition. Their average margin of victory over that span, is an astounding 34 points.

Offense has been everything for the Wolfpack. Cunane, Brown-Turner and Johnson all are averaging double-figures, with Perez knocking on the door at 9.8 per game. In their first five games, there has been four different leading scorers for the Pack. The same stat applies to rebounding, as well. State has out rebounded opponents by nearly 14 a game, something that was a struggle at times last season.

Granted, strength of competition hasn’t been high, but State also hasn’t messed around. Offensively they’ve been far more structured since South Carolina. They’ve also become disciplined on defense and put more focus on rebounding. When you can get category leaders each game, up and down the roster? That’s the making of a championship squad.

 

Maryland Preview

There is only one other team in the land, that without a doubt, is a top-2 team…Introducing Maryland.

The former ACC foe, enters the game 6-0, coming off a big win against #6 Baylor. For all the talk about State’s improved scoring, Maryland has been on fire. Six Terrapins are averaging double-figures for the year. Angel Reese has been most impressive, averaging 19 points, 11 rebounds and 3 steals a game. Outside of Sellers who’s a freshman, all other top scorers and rebounders have plenty of game time experience.

They do things right on the defensive side, as well.

A near 10 turnover and 13 rebound difference per game average over opponents. Maryland is getting over ten steals per game. They’ll give opponents points, but they by no means are they easy buckets.

 

Keys for a Wolfpack Win

  • Get Your Rebounds – And not just talking about rebounds that pop out towards the three-point line…we’re talking hard-nosed, aggressive rebounds in the paint. There have been times when Cunane hasn’t shown strength down low. When State struggles, it’s because that paint presence isn’t there. Maryland beat Baylor by outscoring them by 10 in the paint, even though they were out rebounded overall.
  • Fly Baby, Fly – State can also find a win if they can get the pace moving. Teams have success on fast breaks against Maryland. To bullet point one, rebounding and outlets are key to keep Maryland off balance. Don’t allow them to setup and apply pressure. Johnson, Perez, Brown-Turner, let it fly.
  • No Vacation, All Business – This is very “Get off my porch!” talk, but one of these teams is going to start slow with this mini vacation to the Bahamas. Totally understandable to get caught off-guard thinking about how you took a private jet to an island. Telling you right now, a win will make the experience much, much better.

Regardless of how the Maryland game goes, within a week (12/2) they’ll face undefeated and #4 ranked Indiana. Yes, that team that knocked them out of NCAA. Quite the road for the Wolfpack around the holidays. #GoPack

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