On Wednesday, the Wingate University’s Men’s Basketball Team undoubtedly improved after Josh Massey and Kyle Honore announced their respective commitments to the program. The Bulldogs are coming off a (21-8) season and fourth-place finish in the prestigious South Atlantic Conference (SAC)–their highest mark in both categories since the 2016-17 season. Something has clearly changed in the culture in Monroe. In securing the notable transfer and high school product, the Bulldogs have essentially concluded their recruiting class. Both guys have the necessary ability and mentality to be immediate contributors within the talent-laden roster. 

For those who don’t recall, Massey was previously a standout in North Carolina’s Class of 2020. The Team United and United Faith Christian Academy star garnered a strong reputation for his status as a premier shooting threat with size, feel, and athleticism. Out of high school, Massey committed to Mark Prosser at Western Carolina. He’s always been regarded as a lethal marksman, but Massey can also comfortably attack closeouts and create within a few dribbles. His size makes him a natural matchup problem and allows him to showcase versatility on both ends of the floor. Massey is also a useful finisher, rebounder, and spot-up threat. The lefty transfer should be a perfect fit within this program—both for his maturity and obvious array of tools.

On the other side, Honore’s situation is much more indicative of the current recruiting landscape. He’s a point guard who probably would’ve received more attention from college programs in a normal year. Alas, the Region 6B Player of the Year and two-time First Team All-State selection becomes a vital part of the Bulldogs’ game plan going forward. While folks from the Carolinas might not be overly versed on the true floor general, Virginia certainly knows about the Potomac and Team Takeover product. In terms of his game, Honore is a smart, unselfish, well-rounded point guard who primarily looks to manage a game and create opportunities for others. However, he’s more than capable of establishing his scoring presence from all three levels. Although he doesn’t appear physically imposing, Honore displays a quick first step and blinding speed in the open floor. Similar to Massey, Honore’s poise and identity should make for a seamless addition.

We sat down and spoke to both guys about their commitment:

Josh Massey

JB: What ultimately led to your decision to commit to Wingate?

JM: Honestly, what led to my decision was based off a few things. First off, Wingate is 20 minutes away from my house so my family won’t ever have to miss a home game. I’ve always thought of Wingate as not only an elite basketball program but also as a high academic institution. Destin Clark and I go back to high school and the Team United days, and we’ve been boys ever since that. Also, Quinton Scheuermann and I have been close since my senior year at United Faith. The rest of the team is welcoming me with open arms. I love the way Jarren Cottingham competes, in addition to how he scores and get others involved. I feel like we can cause tough matchups for the other team when we both share the floor. 

JB: From the initial point of contact, who conducted your recruitment?

JM: I remember the first day I entered the transfer portal. I woke up the next day and Coach Sause was one of the first coaches to start building a relationship with me. That just shows how much he really cared and made me feel welcome to the family. I feel like already I can talk to him about everything, not just basketball-wise but anything I have on my mind, and that’s how I feel about all the other coaches as well. 

JB: Being a former Division I player, speak to what you’ve learned during the last two years at Western Carolina.

JM: My time at Western has been nothing but a blessing to me. Between the relationships I formed and things I learned; I wouldn’t change anything about the experience. My time there really helped me learn who I am as an individual, and allowed me to truly learn who I am and what I’m capable of when adversity hits. Through the ups and downs, I kept my family and God first through it all. I have learned that there are going to be extreme highs and extreme lows but you have to find a consistent medium in the middle of both. 

JB: How do you envision yourself fitting with the team, both on and off the court? 

JM: On the court, I envision myself fitting in with my versatile frame and what I can bring to the table with my scoring capabilities, leadership on the court, and ability to guard almost any position on the floor. I feel like my length and height for my position can cause problems for other teams. Off the court, I envision myself not only being a positive influence to my teammates but also around campus and in the classroom. I feel like it’s great for me to be able to come home and be around the people that I grew up with and that have had big influences on my life as well.

Kyle Honore

JB: What ultimately led to your decision to commit to Wingate?

KH: I felt that Wingate was the place for me for multiple reasons, especially given the relationship I have been building with the coaching staff over the last few months. I felt I could be myself around the players that will be returning from last year. The bottom line is: I felt at home when I was at Wingate. It’s difficult to really explain the feeling you get when you know it’s the school for you.

JB: From the initial point of contact, who conducted your recruitment?

KH: I initially started to get in communication with Coach Sause. We got in contact and we’ve just been building a relationship for the past few months, and then the rest of the coaching staff started reaching out as well.

JB: Coming from noteworthy programs in Potomac (with your father) and Team Takeover, speak some to how that’s helped you prepare for this transition.

KH: Well, starting off with Potomac, my dad has always been preparing me for the next level since I could remember. He would always say, “if you want to play at the next level it’s going to take ‘x, y, and z’”, and giving me those little pointers helped me realize what it’s going to take to be successful at the next level. Playing for Chuck Henry and his Team Takeover 17u orange program REALLY helped in tremendous ways. He gave me so much confidence on the court and that alone took my game to the next level. He would always tell me “Dude, I need you to takeover in games” and that also taught me how to closeout games and do whatever it takes to win, whether that’s scoring, passing, or getting the game winning stop on the defensive side of the court–and I really believed I needed that.

JB: How do you envision yourself fitting with the team, both on and off the court?

KH: I see myself fitting well with the team because whatever Coach Good and his coaching staff need me to do, I will do it. I’m willing to come in and give my best effort every time I step on the court, and really help in any way I can. I believe for my personal skillset, I naturally make others around me better and I feel like you can never go wrong with a “True Point Guard” in today’s game. I also see myself fitting really well with the team because I’m a locker room guy FIRST. I’m also a very positive person who brings good energy and a willingness to push my teammates to be better and get better.