No. 1 Steve Francis
We’ve arrived at the end of the countdown. There’s been quite a few electric guards on the list so far, but none were as explosive as Steve Francis. Francis spent his first two years at junior college and was incredibly successful. As a junior, he decided to return home to Maryland to finish out his collegiate career.
During his lone season at Maryland, Francis averaged 17.0 points, 4.5 assists, and 4.5 rebounds for a team that ended up going 28-6 and receiving a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. He was a Consensus Second Team All-American and was one of the most efficient scorers in the ACC. Despite just playing one year in College Park, Francis is tied for 10th all-time with 31 double-figure games.
After one sensational season at Maryland, Francis was selected with the second overall pick by the Vancouver Grizzlies in the 1999 NBA Draft. Francis expressed his displeasure in playing for the Grizzlies and was eventually traded to the Houston Rockets in an 11-player deal prior to the 1999-2000 season. He shared Rookie of the Year honors with Elton Brand and averaged 18.0 points, 6.6 assists, and 5.3 rebounds for a 34-48 Rockets squad.
Francis ended up being a three-time All-Star and averaged double figures in all but one of his nine NBA seasons. He was an electric player that lived above the rim and had a very strong career both at Maryland and in the NBA. Despite only playing one season with the Terps, Francis was a star that produced night in and night out and was one of the top guards to ever come through the program.