Last summer, we ran a series of polls to determine the best players in Maryland football history by position, which gave us a fan-voted all-time Terps team. We’re running it back this summer, but with basketball. 2002 NCAA Champion Steve Blake has been voted as the best point guard in program history, and now it’s time for the shooting guards.
For the purpose of this poll, the only players considered were those that played shooting guard at the college level. The Terps have been blessed with a number of guards that could light up a scoreboard.
Here are our nominees, ordered alphabetically. Vote and let us know your favorites in the comments.
As a 6’7 guard from down the road at DeMatha Catholic High School, Branch was a star from the jump at Maryland. He supplied the Terps with a lot of firepower, leading the team in scoring for two seasons before Len Bias broke out. He’d help lead Maryland to the ACC Tournament Championship in 1984, and was a part of three tournament appearances and two Sweet 16 runs.
Branch stands fifth in the record books in career scoring and field goals made with 2017 points and 767 made attempts. The Washington, D.C., product also ranks third in free throws attempted and fourth in makes, taking 607 and making 454 (.748). He’d rack up two Second Team All-ACC selections before becoming a second-round draft pick, going No. 46 overall to the Chicago Bulls.
Having watched the next member on this list cement his place in program history in just a season, Dixon would pick up the mantle and take Maryland to new heights. On the heels of a Sweet 16 appearance in 1999, the Terps would bow out in the second round the following year before Dixon led them to the Final Four in 2001. The Baltimore native capped his college career with the 2002 NCAA Championship run, being named a consensus first team All-American as well as the ACC Player of the Year and the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player.
He sits alone atop the program leaderboard in career points and three-pointers made, with 2,269 points and 239 triples. Dixon is also second in career steals with 333 thefts. After reaching the top of college basketball, he was selected No. 17 overall by the Wizards. Dixon would play in the league for seven years before joining the coaching ranks, making a stop at his alma mater as a special assistant before going on to become a head coach (he’s currently at Coppin State).
A natural point guard, Francis spent his only college season playing primarily at the two. After spending two years at the junior college level, the Takoma Park, Maryland, native left College Park a high-flying legend. He averaged 17 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.8 steals a night, en route to a Sweet 16 run in 1999. After earning First Team All-ACC and consensus Second Team All-American honors, Francis became the No. 2 overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft by the Vancouver Grizzlies. He’d never play for Vancouver, forcing a trade to the Rockets to kick off a nine-year career that included three All-Star selections and a Rookie of the Year award.
Considered the best high school prospect in the Class of 1977 over Earvin “Magic” Johnson, King was another big swingman for Maryland at 6’6. The Brooklyn native won ACC Player of the Year and consensus Second Team All-America honors, while leading the Terps to the Sweet 16 in 1980. King stands fourth in school history with 2,058 points and tied with John Lucas for the program lead with 862 made field goals. The younger brother of Bernard King, Albert was taken No. 10 overall by the New Jersey Nets in 1981 and play professionally for 10 years.
The program leader in steals, Rhodes was on the roster when Gary Williams earned his first NCAA Tournament appearance at Maryland. Long before 3-and-D players were in vogue, those were Rhodes’ calling cards. His 344 career steals are still an ACC-best, and he sits sixth in Maryland history in made threes, hitting 186 from 1992-96. He’d lead the Terps to three tournament appearances and two Sweet 16 runs before he left College Park. His versatility stands the test of time, still ranking 10th in career points and No. 15 in career rebounds, with 1,743 points and 704 boards.
Honorable mention: D.J. Strawberry, Terrell Stoglin, Mike Jones
Who do you think is the best shooting guard in Maryland history?
This poll is closed
Other—comment your answer