An early entry candidate for the 2005 NBA Draft. Originally an early entry candidate for the 2003 NBA Draft before withdrawing his name and attending Connecticut for two seasons. In the summer of 2004, was a member of the gold medal-winning United States Under-21 National Team at the World Championships for Young Men.
Career Highlights: Appeared in 62 games, starting 35, in his two seasons at Connecticut. Named Second Team All-Big East as a sophomore. Led the conference in rebounding in league games (9.0 rpg). Was a Big East All-Rookie Team selection in 2003-04.
Sophomore (2004-05): Started all 31 games at power forward for the Huskies. Averaged 13.6 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks. Averaged 14.9 points and 9.0 rebounds in conference play. Led team in scoring and had a team-high 12 double-doubles. Averaged 19.0 points and 9.5 rebounds in two NCAA Tournament games, and averaged 18.2 points and 9.7 rebounds over the last 10 games of the season. Had 18 points and 11 rebounds in a Big East Tournament semifinal loss to Syracuse. Named the Big East Player of the Week on Feb. 21 after totaling 21 points and 11 rebounds at Rutgers and 22 points and 10 rebounds against Providence. Tallied 13 points and a career-high 14 rebounds against Oklahoma.
Freshman (2003-04): Declared eligible by the NCAA on Dec. 5, 2003 after being withheld from competition through the exhibition season and six regular season games while UConn and the NCAA reviewed his eligibility status. Became one of the top reserves on Connecticut’s second National Championship team. Averaged 8.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 32 games. Posted four double-doubles. Started the first two games of the Big East Tournament in place of Emeka Okafor and averaged 10.0 points and 9.5 rebounds. Tallied eight points, six rebounds and two blocks in national semifinal game against Duke. Scored a season-high 25 points against Rice. Had 16 points and 13 rebounds against Notre Dame.
Strengths: Athletic and versatile big man who can play multiple positions, score both inside and out and is an excellent rebounder. Runs the floor very well and has good passing skills.
Personal: His favorite NBA player is Tracy McGrady. Favorite actor is Denzel Washington. He is the son of Roberto Villanueva and Doris Mejia. He suffers from Alopecia Areata, an autoimmune skin disease resulting in hair loss on the scalp and elsewhere in the body. The disease is actually relatively common, affecting four million Americans. It is not a life-threatening disease. Was a high school teammate of Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls.