If Chuck Guy were a superhero, he would be called The Infiltrator.
Guy may not wear a purple cape along with his Tarleton State uniform when he hits the hardwood, but he's constantly infiltrating opponents' defenses. And whether he's the one putting the ball through the hoop or the points come from a teammate he finds with a pass against a collapsing defense, he's leading the Texans to rare heights offensively.
No. 11 Tarleton averages 96.6 points per game, has scored 75 or more in seven straight outings for the first time in 16 years, leads all of NCAA Division II with a 43.3 average margin of victory and is 7-0 for the first time since becoming a senior college 52 years ago.
Guy says he could tell from the start something was different about this Tarleton team. Something better, even more so than last year's club that rallied late in the season to win the Lone Star Conference Tournament championship and reach the NCAA playoffs.
"I think we're more talented, like a little bit, but really what's different is the way we work and our chemistry," Guy said Thursday as he and teammates prepared for a practice during final exam week on campus. "It's about who wants to show up every day willing to listen and learn. Last year we had some conflicts where some of us weren't on the same page. But everyone's on the same page this year, and we're all working hard together."
Something he credits to the team's leadership, and not just himself.
"Being a leader is something I knew I needed to work on after last year, so I've focused on that a lot," said Guy, a senior point guard from Fort Worth. "I know I can score the ball and do a lot of things, but even bigger than that is helping my teammates, making them better, helping their confidence. That's what I'm really trying to do.
"Coleman Furst is another big leader for us, and De'Andre Upchurch, too," Guy added, citing other seniors. "Even some of the juniors, especially Damion Clemons. He speaks up and takes charge when he needs to."
Taking charge is something Guy has done on the court throughout the early part of the season, leading the team with 17.1 points, 6.7 assists and two steals per game.
Guy says he gets the same thrill from assists as he does from scoring himself.
"I think everyone on our team can score, so when I get to the paint, it's not always about looking for my shot," he said. "If it's the best shot, I'll take it, but it's really about getting the defense to collapse and finding my teammates where they have shots and can do their thing."
So far their thing has been catching passes and knocking shots down at a rate never before seen inside Wisdom Gym, where head coach Lonn Reisman has picked up 351 of his 537 victories at the school.
The Texans are hitting 54.1 percent from the field including 43.5 from the 3-point arc. Three other players - De'Andre Upchurch, Davene Carter and Mohammed Lee - average double figures.
One thing Guy knows, however, is that competition will get much tougher as the season goes on, and that could begin Tuesday when the Texans host a McMurry team that boasts a road win over Conference USA member Texas-San Antonio.
"McMurry's supposed to be pretty good, so that hopefully will be a good challenge," said Guy, who is also looking forward to tests away from home. "We have to do it on the road, too, not just at home, so I'm looking forward to going to Las Vegas."
That's where the Texans will take on Central Washington and No. 5 Western Washington in a classic next Saturday and Sunday.
"I think that will be good for us, cause going on the road gives us a chance just to be together as a team and come together even more," said Guy. "It will be good because we have to win on the road when we're in conference."
That's when Guy hopes being "The Infiltrator" will lead to a conference championship for the Texans.
"That's the big goal, you know. We won the conference tournament last year, but we want to win the season championship, too," Guy said. "I know we can do it, we just have to keep working hard and doing whatever it takes to get better."