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NBA Draft 2005 Player Profiles

A LOOK AT 12 PLAYERS PROJECTED IN THE MID TO LATE FIRST ROUND



The Denver Nuggets currently hold the 20th and 22nd picks in the first round of the NBA Draft 2005. As anticipated, this year's Draft is shaping up to be one of the deepest drafts in recent NBA history. In other words, the art of predicting the Draft selections has gotten much more difficult.

For the most part, the players within Lottery range have already solidified themselves. There are a few players still shifting in and out of the back of the Lottery, but nothing too out of the ordinary for this time of year. It appears as if the mid to late first round is going to be the hardest to project. When looking at the different mock draft boards across the Internet, a player might be projected anywhere from 16th to 27th, depending on the site and/or the scout.

So, because of some of the disparities between mock drafts, Nuggets.com has compiled a list of the 12 most common players projected around the Nuggets' two first round selections. By no means does this list of players reflect the intentions of the Nuggets franchise. This is merely a generic list to give the fans an idea of which players could possibly be selected somewhere in the mid-first round.


Nuggets.com will post two new player profiles per day, in preparation for the draft on Tuesday, June 28. Continue to check back each day to get a glimpse at some of the top prospects that could land somewhere between the 15th and 30th picks.



Full Name: Yaroslav Korolev
Birthdate: May 7, 1983
Hometown: Moscow, Russia
YAROSLAV KOROLEV
Position: Forward
Height / Weight: 6-9 / 203
Team: CSKA Moscow (Russia)

The Skinny on Korolev:
According to ESPN.com ... "As far as sure-fire NBA prospects go, Korolev looks like the real thing. He's been on scouts' radars now for two years, but he really put it all together in the Euroleague juniors tournament. Korolev is one of the most complete players in Europe. He's a long 6-foot-9 small forward with great athleticism, an excellent long-range jumper and superb ball-handling skills. Scouts loved him in Moscow and currently project him in the 18-to-30 range. However, he has the potential to work himself into the late lottery with workouts."
View Korolev's entire NBA Draft 2005 Bio.



Full Name: Francisco Alberto Garcia
Birthdate: December 31, 1981
Hometown: Bronx, N.Y.

FRANCISCO GARCIA
Position: Guard/Forward
Height / Weight: 6-7 / 195
College: Louisville

The Skinny on Garcia:
According to ESPN.com ... "Garcia's a gifted scorer with a feathery shooting touch. He's long, versatile and has a good feel for the basketball. He's a fabulous shot blocker for a swingman and also is a dead-eye from the free-throw line. Could be a point-forward type in the pros thanks to a solid handle and nice court vision. There were times this season when Garcia looked like he might slip into the late lottery or mid-first round. When his shot is falling, he looks a lot like Suns sharpshooter Joe Johnson. Garcia's stock is all over the board. Look for him to go anywhere between 20 and 40 on draft night."
View Garcia's entire NBA Draft 2005 Bio.



Full Name: Ikechukwa Somotochukwa Diogu
Birthdate: September 11, 1983
Hometown: Garland, Tex.

IKE DIOGU
Position: Forward
Height / Weight: 6-8 / 250
College: Arizona State

The Skinny on Diogu:
According to ESPN.com ... "A strong scrappy big man who is a double-double waiting to happen. He has a fantastic motor and is constantly working on both ends of the floor. He's an incredible rebounder with great anticipation skills. Offensively, he's very skilled. He can score with his back to the basket or take his defender outside. Has even developed a decent 3-point shot. Has a knack for drawing fouls and shoots 80 percent from the free throw line. Has developed into a good shot blocker. The fact that he measured out taller than expected with that huge wingspan will really help his stock. He may push all the way into the lottery."
View Diogu's entire NBA Draft 2005 Bio.



Full Name: Charlie Alexander Villanueva
Birthdate: August 24, 1984
Hometown: Queens, N.Y.

CHARLIE VILLANUEVA
Position: Forward
Height / Weight: 6-11 / 240
College: Connecticut

The Skinny on Villanueva:
According to ESPN.com ... "Villanueva, along with (Chris) Taft, is one of the most physically gifted big men in the draft. He really has it all -- great size, athleticism and toughness. His game is also advanced offensively. He has the ability to play both inside and out. On pure talent, he's a top-10 pick without question. The scouts and GMs Insider consults all like him as a player, but when pressed on whether they'd actually take him with a lottery pick, they all pass. Asked if they'd take him at 21, every one of them said yes. Right now, we have him in the mid-to-late first round."
View Villanueva's entire NBA Draft 2005 Bio.



Full Name: Andray Blatche
Birthdate: August 22, 1986
Hometown: Syracuse, N.Y.
ANDRAY BLATCHE
Position: Forward
Height / Weight: 6-11 / 235
High School: South Kent Prep (Conn.)

The Skinny on Blatche:
According to ESPN.com ... "He's got the size to be a dominating inside presence, but spent his senior season of high school trying to convince scouts that he was the second coming of Lamar Odom, hanging out on the perimeter and trying to handle the ball on the break. Blatche proved throughout the season that he can actually do those things pretty well. He's long, athletic and very skilled for a big man. He's going to need a lot of work in the post, but eventually scouts believe he's got a shot to be a very good player in the NBA. He's been on the first-round bubble all season, but his performance in New York probably pushed him firmly into the first round. ."
View Blatche's entire NBA Draft 2005 Bio.



Full Name: Wayne Anthony
Simien Jr.
Birthdate: March 9, 1983
Hometown: Leavenworth, Kan.

WAYNE SIMIEN
Position: Forward
Height / Weight: 6-9 / 255
College: Kansas

The Skinny on Simien:
According to ESPN.com ... "Simien is one of the most dominant big men in college basketball. He's a blue-collar bruiser with a solid NBA body and plenty of strength and toughness. Simien is an outstanding rebounder, especially on the offensive glass. He has developed a nice baseline jumper, shows soft hands and is quicker than his bulky frame would suggest. He also has impressive leaping ability for a player his size. He's a very good free-throw shooter for a big man. He has a real motor and great toughness. He should be taken in the top 20 picks in the draft."
View Simien's entire NBA Draft 2005 Bio.



Full Name: Ersan Ilyasova
Birthdate: May 15, 1987
Hometown: Eskisehir, Turkey
ERSAN ILYASOVA
Position: Forward
Height / Weight: 6-9 / 235
Team: Ulker Istanbul (Turkey)

The Skinny on Ilyasova:
According to ESPN.com ... "Scouts were claiming after the tournament (last spring) that he was the best young prospect in Europe. However, he fractured his ankle shortly thereafter and only recently returned to the court. He has lottery-type talent, with athleticism and inside and outside skills offensively. Ilyasova plays with a lot of heart and has toughness that's lacking in many of the skilled Euro forwards coming into the draft. If he can get totally healthy, his stock will be much higher. However, if things stay the way they are, he's a mid-to-late first rounder."
View Ilyasova's entire NBA Draft 2005 Bio.



Full Name: Jarrett Matthew Jack
Birthdate: October 28, 1983
Hometown: Fort Washington, Md.

JARRETT JACK
Position: Guard
Height / Weight: 6-3 / 202
College: Georgia Tech

The Skinny on Jack:
According to ESPN.com ... "Jack really knows how to run a team. He has good size and nice court vision, as well as an NBA body and athleticism. He's an excellent rebounder for a point guard. He's also a good defender who collects a decent number of steals. He's a leader on the floor and rarely takes a bad shot. Plays with great competitive fire. Jack is all over the board as far as his draft stock goes. Some have him as a mid-first round selection. Most, however, have him ranked in the mid-to-high 20s."
View Jack's entire NBA Draft 2005 Bio.



Full Name: Johan Petro
Birthdate: January 27, 1986
Hometown: Paris, France
JOHAN PETRO
Position: Center
Height / Weight: 7-0 / 247
Team: Pau Orthez (France)

The Skinny on Petro:
According to ESPN.com ... "Petro looked great early in the season in the French League but struggled in Euroleague play. He is an athletic big man with solid rebounding abilities. Has a range out to about 10 feet. Does most of his scoring in the paint. Scouts are all over the place on him. They love his size, body and potential. His skills continue to improve. On potential, he's a top-10 pick. But his skills have been slow to develop, meaning that he could slide into the mid- to late-first round."
View Petro's entire NBA Draft 2005 Bio.



Full Name: Rashad Dion McCants
Birthdate: September 25, 1984
Hometown: Asheville, N.C.

RASHAD McCANTS
Position: Guard
Height / Weight: 6-4 / 207
College: North Carolina

The Skinny on McCants:
According to ESPN.com ... "McCants might be the most-talented junior in the country. He's obviously a gifted scorer and a top-notch athlete. He's a dead eye from long range and seems to have no problem getting to the basket at will. He's very quick and explosive. He's one of the toughest kids in the draft to project. He was OK in the tournament, but is no longer the dominating lottery pick that scouts saw earlier in the season. Some will blame that on a myriad of personal problems that clearly took its toll on McCants. Where he'll end up in the draft remains a contentious point of debate. Some still have him as a late lottery pick, but more likely he's a mid-to-late first rounder."
View McCants' entire NBA Draft 2005 Bio.



Full Name: Roko Leni Ukic
Birthdate: May 12, 1984
Hometown: Split, Croatia
ROKO UKIC
Position: Guard
Height / Weight: 6-5 / 183
Team: KK Split (Croatia)

The Skinny on Ukic:
According to ESPN.com ... "He plays big minutes for Split in Croatia and is the team's captain. He's a big kid, but he's all point guard. He has great energy, ball handling, quickness, work ethic and athleticism for a point guard that size. He's great in the transition game, not quite as hot in the halfcourt set. His defense has really improved. Last year he was a sleeper. This year he's on everyone's radar. If his perimeter shot ever came around, he'd rocket up the board. Right now he's still hanging out in the late first round."
View Ukic's entire NBA Draft 2005 Bio.



Full Name: Christopher Taft
Birthdate: March 10, 1985
Hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y.

CHRIS TAFT
Position: Forward
Height / Weight: 6-10 / 260
College: Pittsburgh

The Skinny on Taft:
According to ESPN.com ... "Started the season as a consensus top-three pick, but played indifferently for most of the year. Taft has the rare combination of size, athleticism, strength and power that NBA scouts covet in a good power forward. And unlike many players who possess those abilities, Taft prefers to score with his back to the basket. His footwork is sound, he's patient in the paint and always is working for a good shot."
View Taft's entire NBA Draft 2005 Bio.