It's not Richard Howell's fault that he is continually late to class.

Well, it sort of is. If the N.C. State forward hadn't performed so well last year, especially during the NCAA Tournament, than there might not be so much hoopla surrounding the Wolfpack. But Howell will happily deal with high expectations, even if it means he is constantly entertaining wishful students on his way to class.

The combination of a stellar recruiting class and four returning starters has led to astronomically high hopes for a school that many have always considered to be the younger brother to in-state powerhouses Duke and North Carolina. And those lofty expectations are affecting Howell's commute to class.

"You can leave [class] 15-20 minutes early, and people are still going to stop you," Howell told USA Today. "That's nothing to complain about it. It's just crazy. You take a dramatic turn and so many people start liking you. I take the same route to class as I did since freshman year, and I was never thrown off track until the Sweet 16. It's definitely a good problem to have. … One person comes, then the next person comes, then I'm late to class."

The Wolfpack were selected by the coaches as the favorite to win the ACC, and if they were to follow through on that forecast, it would be their first regular season conference crown since 1989. Under those circumstances, Howell would probably have to find a new route to class.

"It's not that bad," Howell said of his tardiness issue, "but when you're probably the biggest person walking into class and you're last, everyone turns to look."

(H/T to USA Today)

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