RALEIGH, N.C. -- Terry Tarpey and his William & Mary teammates never looked rushed, frazzled or even the least bit uncomfortable on the road against North Carolina State.
No, the veteran Tribe looked right at home, putting on a smooth-running offensive show to earn a shockingly easy 85-68 season-opening win -- one that gave the Wolfpack a jarring reminder that last year's success is in the past.
"We always want to prove ourselves when we step on the court because there could be -- (in) a quote by Michael Jordan -- someone in the stands that's never seen you play before," Tarpey said. "And you want to make sure they see the best you."
It would be hard to say the Tribe didn't do just that.
With four starters back from a 20-win squad that won the Colonial Athletic Association regular-season title, William & Mary confidently ran its offense and calmly knocked down shots in a lopsided result that stumped the home crowd.
The Tribe opened with a 23-5 run, led by 16 at halftime and 23 points early after the break.
"When we execute," Tribe coach Tony Shaver said, "we're pretty good."
The Wolfpack mounted little more than meager pushes to get back in it, never stringing together enough baskets and stops to seriously up the pressure on the Tribe.
Coach Mark Gottfried had cautioned in preseason that this group had a long way to go to reach its potential and return to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in as many seasons. This game illustrated that perfectly, with Gottfried saying afterward his team had better realize last year's run to the Sweet 16 is long gone.
"We've got to figure out with this team how it needs to play, and how we're going to get better," he said. "And we better learn how to do it quickly.
"I think tonight you saw a very experienced, well-oiled machine playing against a very inexperienced team that didn't handle the adversity really well."
Caleb Martin scored a career-high 21 points for N.C. State, while fellow sophomore Abdul-Malik Abu showed off an improved offensive game with 17. But the Wolfpack lost starting guard Terry Henderson, a West Virginia transfer, to a right ankle injury early in his N.C. State debut.
William & Mary: The Tribe finished with a 42-38 rebounding advantage. ... Dixon went 4-for-9 from 3-point range, including a big one near the 3-minute mark for an 83-66 lead. ... The Tribe's lead never fell below double figures after the opening burst.
N.C. State: The game came hours after the Wolfpack announced a new contract for Gottfried running through 2020. ... Freshman Maverick Rowan earned extra duty with Henderson's injury and scored 16 points. ... Anthony "Cat" Barber scored 11 on 4-for-16 shooting.
Gottfried said X-rays on Henderson's ankle taken at PNC Arena revealed no fracture, though he was taken to a nearby hospital for additional evaluation. His status is unclear.
Dixon said the Tribe wanted to immediately build off last year's CAA success.
"We worked so hard over the offseason, making sure we didn't have that big dip coming back in this season," he said. "We just knew that we were ready to go."
Abu said the Wolfpack never could regroup after falling behind early.
"They definitely were a tough team to guard," he said. "They had a veteran offense, they knew how to read us well. We had trouble making some adjustments."
William & Mary travels to Liberty on Tuesday.
N.C. State hosts South Alabama on Sunday.
Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap and the AP's college basketball site at http://collegebasketball.ap.org
Texas Longhorns land transfers Timmy Allen and Devin Askew as Andrew Jones decides to return
The Longhorns landed commitments from Utah transfer Timmy Allen and Kentucky transfer Devin Askew, while junior guard Andrew Jones also announced he will return to Austin for another season.
Louisville men's basketball secures transfer commitment from former Florida guard Noah Locke
Louisville announced Tuesday that former Florida guard Noah Locke has transferred to the program after an impressive perimeter shooting career with the Gators.
Michigan State forward Thomas Kithier enters transfer portal
Michigan State forward Thomas Kithier has entered the transfer portal, he announced Tuesday.