N.C. State has two goals for the start of the ACC season, that are seemingly at conflict with each other.
The Pack wants to win 11 ACC games but it also wants to take the conference season, "one game at a time."
Eleven wins is the number first-year coach Mark Gottfried has set as the goal for his team to make the NCAA tournament.
"If you take a step back and look at the season, I would say we have to get there," Gottfried said. "In the grand scheme of things, (our goal) is 10 or 11 (wins)."
But Gottfried was quick to point out, that's the big-picture and in order to get there, State will have to take each game as it comes.
"Of course, we can't look ahead," guard Lorenzo Brown said. "If we do that, the next game we will probably lose."
State has hit double-digits in ACC wins twice since the 1988-89 season. Of course, the ACC has changed — expanded and diluted its own product since then — but the 12-team league has still been a challenge for the Wolfpack.
State went 5-11 last season, and the year before, and didn't win more than six league games in Sidney Lowe's five seasons. Twice, in 10 seasons, Herb Sendek won 10 league games. Since the ACC expanded to 12 teams before the 2005-06 season, the Wolfpack has a 35-61 conference record.
Brown said the current players don't talk about the past. He said he didn't even know what State's ACC record was last season.
Told it was 5-11, he responded: "Who wants to remember that?"
Part of being a successful team is confidence. There's no shortage of that after State's 11-4 nonconference start, including five straight wins.
"As long as we stay focused, and keep playing like we are now, I think we'll be fine," sophomore C.J. Leslie said.