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Jiri Welsch

SHOOTING GUARD | (6-6, 205) | CZECH REPUBLIC

Notes: Jiri Welsch, a member of the Czech National Team, has played for Union Olimpija in the Euroleague the past two seasons. He averaged 16.9 points and shot 50.3 percent from the field this past season.

Made his professional debut during the 1996-97 season with BHC SKP Pardubice (Czech Republic). Welsch also played with Pardubice during the 1997-98 championship season before being signed for the 1998-99 season by B.C. Sparta Praha. Helped Sparta Praha win the 1999-20000 championship before moving to Slvenia and signing with B.C. Olimpija Ljubljana.

Welsch also won the 2000-01 Slovenian National Championship with B.C. Olimpija Ljubljana and also helped Olimpija win the 2001 Slovenian National Cup. He has been a member of the Czech Junior National team has been member of the Czech Under-22 National Team.

Positives: Welsch is a combo guard who likes to take the ball to the basket or dish on the dribble drive. Excellent size for a point guard. He's got a sweet outside jumper, and is a solid decision maker and leader. He likes to play the game at a fast pace and will push the ball up the floor whenever he gets the opportunity. Scouts say he's got a great feel for running a team. He's extremely tough. Think John Stockton on hormones.

Negatives: Welsch is an inconsistent shooter from beyond the 3-point arc. He doesn't have the quickness to guard smaller quicker point guards like Baron Davis and Steve Francis. Isn't a great athlete, but makes up for it with a certain court savvy.

Summary: Some teams wonder whether Welsch can really play point guard in the NBA on a full-time basis. He may be better suited playing shooting guard in America. Obviously his stock slips a bit if they're not convinced he can run a team. If they think he can make the transition to full time point guard, he could end up in the mid-first round by draft day.




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