Hodge Headed To Denver

NC State guard Julius Hodge was selected in the first round of the 2005 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets.

NC State guard Julius Hodge was selected in the first round of the 2005 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets.

"My brother definitely taught me toughness," Hodge said following the selection. "It all paid off. I love the guy for it. I love you mom... I'm going to make you all proud. Thank you Denver."

The Nuggets chose Hodge with the 20th pick in the first round, the 20th overall selection and their first pick in the draft.

"He's been productive," ESPN analyst Jay Bilas said of Hodge. "He's long, he's versatile, he's a good athlete. I really like this pick for Denver. I think Hodge, when he plays with passion, is one of the best players in the country."

"He's a competitor and a versatile one who can play multiple positions."

Hodge, a fourth-year senior for NC State, averaged 17 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists a game for the Wolfpack. His outstanding play and leadership led NC State to its first Sweet Sixteen appearance since 1989.

"He's a competitor, he's coming to fight and he's not backing down," ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith said. "This guy has a lot of potential, and he's on the right team with a very good coach."

As a junior, the 6-foot-7, 205-pound combo guard averaged averaging 18 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists, earning ACC Player of the Year honors.

Denver also had a second first-round pick and chose Georgia Tech junior point guard Jarrett Jack with the No. 22 selection.

The Nuggets finished last season with a 49-33 regular season record and lost in the first round of the playoffs to the San Antonio Spurs, the eventual NBA champions.

Julius Hodge, a guard from North Carolina State, reacts after he is chosen by the Denver Nuggets as the 20th overall pick of the 2005 NBA Draft Tuesday, June 28, 2005 in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Julius Hodge, a guard from North Carolina State, is congratulated by NBA Commissioner David Stern after he was chosen by the Denver Nuggets as the 20th overall pick of the 2005 NBA Draft Tuesday, June 28, 2005 in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)


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