Steve Francis
Drafted by:
Vancouver, Round 1, pick 2.

  "The Roy Hobbs of college basketball came out of nowhere to be the most exciting player in the ACC. If Francis had declared for the draft out of junior college last year, he would have been a late first-round pick. Now, after one year of college ball, he should be the first player selected. In short, nobody has more upside potential in this draft than Francis. He can play both guard spots and he's tough. Francis has tremendous athletic ability, and with the exception of Duke's Corey Maggette, he is the most gifted run-and-jump player in the draft. He has been compared to Allen Iverson, but I do not see that comparison beyond the fact that both are talented athletes that are not true playmakers, yet play the point.

Francis is 21 years old and physically mature, however his game does not always reflect emotional maturity. Francis is a great leaper that plays hard on both ends of the floor, and can be an outstanding defender. Francis has good hands and anticipates well, but most of all, plays hard. He has the ability to get his own shot (off the dribble and from range) and he handles the ball well. With his strength, Francis can take a bump and draw the foul and finish at the rim.

He passes well in the open court and has the ability to find people. Francis is an outstanding transition player, but sometimes makes poor decisions in the halfcourt. He showed frustration by forcing things at times against Duke and North Carolina, when experienced team defenses would key on him and take his tendencies away. The questions: Francis can play the point position, but can he truly run a team? Will he be an Iverson scoring talent, or will he get others involved?"
-- ESPN's Jay Bilas

College: Maryland
Height: 6-3
Weight: 193 pounds
Position: Guard
Age: 21 (Feb. 21, 1978)
Birthplace: Silver Spring, Md.

Career highlights

  • Early-entry candidate for the 1999 NBA draft
  • Named Second Team All-America by The Associated Press as a junior in his only season of Division I competition
  • First player to take two unbeaten teams (San Jacinto, Texas, in 1996-97, Allegany, Md., in 1997-98) into the National Junior College Championship tournament
  • Guided Maryland to NCAA Sweet Sixteen berth in only season with Terps

    College highlights
    At Maryland

  • Named First Team All-ACC after leading Maryland with 17.0 points and 2.8 steals per game
  • His 95 steals led ACC and were second-highest single-season total in Maryland history
  • Led Terps with 45 3-pointers
  • Scored career-high 32 points vs. Clemson during regular season and 31 vs. North Carolina in ACC tournament
  • Handed out career-high 13 assists vs. Virginia
  • Scored 18 points and grabbed career-high 13 rebounds vs. Creighton in NCAA Tournament
  • Shot 9-for-9 vs. North Carolina State to tie Cole Field House record
  • Posted 24 points, seven rebounds and four steals vs. Stanford in BB&T Classic
  • Had 25 points, six rebounds, five steals at Kentucky

    At Allegany CC

  • Led Allegany CC to undefeated regular season and earned First Team NJCAA All-American honors
  • Averaged 25.3 points, 8.7 assists, 7.1 rebounds and 5.3 steals, shooting 53 percent from the field and 82 percent from the line
  • Set school records for points (885), steals (187) and free throws (204)
  • Posted quadruple-double of 24 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds and 10 steals vs. Vincennes (Ind.) and triple-double of 28 points, 11 assists and 11 steals vs. Dundalk
  • Tallied 41 points vs. Champlain (N.Y.) Community College

    At San Jacinto JC

  • Led San Jacinto Junior College to unbeaten regular season and 36-1 overall mark by averaging 12.5 points, 7.5 assists and 7.5 rebounds
  • First Team NJCAA All-Region IV selection. Led team to NJCAA national finals where Ravens were beaten by Indian Hills, Iowa

    College statistics
    Three-point field goals: 1998-99, 45-for-116 (.388).
    Allegany (MD) CC
    Three-point field goals: 1997-98, 91-for-241 (.378).
    San Jacinto (TX) JC
    Three-point field goals: 1996-97, 15-for-39 (.385).

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