Gottfried's 1st Year Offers Hope For Wolfpack

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina State went from missing the NCAA tournament five straight years to coming within a shot or two of playing for a trip to the Final Four.

The Wolfpack (24-13) finished with the program's most wins in 24 years under first-year coach Mark Gottfried, who guided N.C. State to the NCAA tournament's round of 16 before losing to Kansas.

Gottfried said all year that the program has a long way to go, but his first season might have sped up expectations for the former Alabama coach to build an every-year contender in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

N.C. State sophomores C.J. Leslie and Lorenzo Brown thrived this season, though it's unclear whether Leslie will return or enter the NBA draft.

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