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NC State women ready for No. 2 Maryland on Thanksgiving

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The Pack ain’t taking Thanksgiving off this year.

Indiana v NC State Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The women’s basketball team’s tour through the AP top five will continue on Thursday with a neutral-site game against second-ranked Maryland. The teams are in the Bahamas as part of the star-studded Pink Flamingo Championship: in addition to the Pack and Terps, Stanford and Indiana are participating as well. That’s four of the top seven teams in the current AP Poll.

Maryland is undefeated on the early season with a three-point win over Baylor to its credit; the Terps return a lot of experience from the team that was a two-seed in the NCAAs last season. Like NC State, they are looking to improve on a disappointing Sweet Sixteen finish.

Maryland had one of the most efficient offenses in the country last season and that remains the case early in 2021-22, not surprisingly. The Terrapins lead the country in points per possession while ranking third nationally in three-point shooting (40 percent) and eighth in two-point shooting (53.7 percent).

Six Maryland players are averaging in double figures, led by forward Angel Reese, who is putting up 19 points per game (as well as 11.5 boards) early on. The team’s scoring depth is impressive, and what makes them exceptionally difficult is their ability to rebound their missed shots. They were both an elite shooting and an elite offensive rebounding team a year ago, which you can expect will be the case this season as well.

State’s defense has its work cut out for it, but the offense should come a little easier than it did against South Carolina—Maryland’s front line isn’t nearly as imposing. (Then again, whose is?) Should be a good one.

Tip time is 11 a.m. ET tomorrow, with televised coverage from ... (heavy sigh) ... FloHoops.