North Carolina State went from rebuilding to Atlantic Coast Conference favorite so fast that coach Mark Gottfried is already having to manage expectations in his second year.
It could be the biggest challenge for the sixth-ranked Wolfpack in a potential-filled year.
''That's the one thing I tell our guys that we can control: we can control how driven we are every day,'' Gottfried said. ''It's easy to talk about it, it's a little bit harder to do it at practice. I can't control a lot of things nor can our guys, but we do have the ability to control that, so that's what we're trying to do each day.''
It's been a stunningly fast rise for N.C. State, which hadn't been to the NCAA tournament since 2006 before Gottfried's arrival last season. The Wolfpack (24-13) had a late-season surge and took eventual finalist Kansas to the final seconds in loss in the NCAA round of 16, ending the program's winningest season in 24 years.
Now Gottfried has four returning starters to go with a recrui...