HARRISONBURG, Va. – On the eve of the 2012-13 campaign, James Madison men’s basketball head coach Matt Brady on Wednesday announced the signings of guard Jackson Kent and forward Paulius Satkus to national letters of intent to join the program for the 2013-14 season.
While similar in stature - Kent stands at 6-foot, 7-inches tall while Satkus is 6-foot, 8-inches – they feature markedly different profiles. Kent is a tall point guard hailing from High Point, N.C. Satkus will be the fourth international player to suit up for Brady. The Lithuanian native is currently competing for a high performance academy in London.
Kent opened his senior season at High Point Christian Academy Tuesday night. He posted a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds in a loss to nationally-renowned Oak Hill Academy. As a junior, he led HPCA with 14.5 points per game while guiding the Cougars to a 30-2 record, advancing to the state semifinals. He topped 1,000 career points as a junior and also averaged 5.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists. He was named North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association (NCISAA) All-State and was the Independent School Player of the Year by GreensboroSports.com. Kent played his first two scholastic seasons at Page High School and averaged 16 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists as a sophomore.
Brady commented on the incoming guard from the Tar Heel state, “Jackson plays for one of the best high school teams in the state of North Carolina with at least four Division I players on the team and maybe a fifth. We believe he’s the best player on one of the three or four best teams in the state of North Carolina. He’s a coach’s son and plays the game exactly the way it should be played. He’s got terrific size and great instincts for the game, to go with terrific passing ability and the ability to shoot over people.”
Satkus is currently competing for Barking Abbey Academy in England’s National League. So far, he is averaging 11.5 points, 12.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.8 blocks per game through a dozen contests. Prior to London, Satkus also represented his country, Lithuania, while playing for the Under-18 National Team.
“Paulius is a guy we’ve been aware of for quite some time, recruiting him since the spring,” noted Brady. “He’s a terrific rebounder with a great motor and a great energy for the game. He’s a gym rat and a guy who continues to get better. Right now he’s in a prep school in London called Barking Abbey, which is the dominant basketball program maybe in the country. He’s been the leading scorer and a double-double machine.”
JMU has six seniors on its 2012-13 squad, which was en route to Los Angeles during signing day. The Dukes will be the last Division I team in the nation to begin their season when they face No. 13 UCLA Thursday night in the New Pauley Pavilion. Tipoff is scheduled for 11 p.m. (EST) with the game televised on the Pac-12 Network.