jerome

‘Send it in, Jerome’ remains vivid in the minds of many 25 years later

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On January 25, 1988, Pittsburgh forward Jerome Lane threw down one of the college basketball’s most unforgettable dunks. After receiving a pass on the break from point guard Sean Miller, Lane took flight, dunking over Providence guard Carlton Screen and shattering the backboard.

Lane walked away from the scene to high-fives from his teammates, cheers from the Fitzgerald Field House crowd and the rim hanging by a thread.

The Pittsburgh mascot would later parade around the court with the rim, and the game was delayed for more than a half hour as facilities staff found a replacement basket and cleaned up the debris.

But just as memorable was the call of ESPN play-by-play announcer Mike Gorman and color commentator Bill Raftery, who added the four words that many college basketball fans remember to this day as noted in a story by Zach Schonbrun of the New York Times.

“Send it in, Jerome!”

Lane, who is now the director of a youth recreation facility in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, was one of the leaders for a Pittsburgh team that would go on to win 24 games and a Big East regular season title (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).

Lane caught the ball and elevated above Providence’s 6-foot guard Carlton Screen. The dunk sounded as if a light bulb had popped. When he landed, Lane had no idea that the lower portion of the backboard had shattered, leaving a gaping glass hole squarely in the center of the box. The rim was left dangling by a thread, until the Pitt mascot grabbed it and paraded around the arena with it in hand.

“I didn’t realize anything until I looked at Demetreus,” Lane told ESPN in 2010. “Then I saw glass on the floor. It came down like snow.” For several seconds, the stands were practically silent. “Everybody just kind of gasped,” said Larry Eldridge, then Pitt’s associate athletic director. “Nobody could believe what they were watching.”

The play essentially made two people famous: Lane for the dunk and Raftery for his spontaneous words in reaction to the play.

“It just popped out,” Raftery said in the New York Times story. “There was no preconceived notion for it. I’m sure somewhere along the line I’d heard people say it, maybe.”

Video credit: ESPN

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Duke knocks off No. 13 Louisville in first game of critical four-game stretch

Duke's Grayson Allen (3) and Marshall Plumlee (40) react during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Louisville in Durham, N.C., Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. Duke won 72-65. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
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Grayson Allen scored 16 of his 19 points in the first half and Brandon Ingram added 18 points, 10 boards and four assists as Duke picked up a critical win over No. 13 Louisville in Cameron Indoor Stadium on Monday night, 72-65.

A call this a critical win for the Blue Devils because it kicks off what may be the most important two-week stretch of Duke’s schedule This weekend, the Blue Devils square off with No. 9 Virginia. Next Wednesday, they’re at the Dean Dome to take on No. 7 North Carolina. Four days after that, they head to the Bluegrass State to pay a visit to Louisville.

 

With the way that Duke has been struggling on the defensive end of the floor without Amile Jefferson, that’s a stretch that could derail Duke’s season; entering Monday, all four of those games were losable. But a four-game winning streak — or even going 3-1 in that stretch — could completely change the tenor of what has been a fairly disappointing year for the defending champs, and that’s before they get Jefferson back to 100 percent.

And the difference was defensively, at least in the first half.

I’ve written in this space a number of times about how opponents know what they’re going to get from Duke defensively. Coach K, traditionally, plays half court man-to-man defense, switching every exchange — ball-screen, off-ball pick or simply when two players run by one another — that doesn’t involve the center. In recent years, he’s played some zone in situations where he defense has struggled or, like this season, when he doesn’t have the depth to risk foul trouble. We’ve even seen some 2-2-1 pressure from him of late.

But on Monday night, Duke played straight man-to-man for much of the game, and in the first half, it seemed to fluster the Cardinals. They scored just 24 points in the first 20 minutes, and while Louisville did find a way to break Duke down defensively in the second half — they shot better than 55 percent from the floor after the break — but part of the reason Duke was able to win this game was the lead they built. After a three from Allen opened scoring in the second half, the Blue Devils were up by 14, and while Louisville made a run down the stretch, they could never get control of the game.

Duke is becoming appointment viewing for basketball nerds like me that pay too much attention to X’s-and-O’s to see what kind of wrinkle Coach K is going to put in to try and compensate defensively, so I’m not sure that this performance sticks. But it is worth noting that this was the first time in eight games the Blue Devils gave up less than 1.0 PPP, and the first time since Dec. 19th they did so against an NCAA tournament-caliber team.

As far as Louisville is concerned, you have to tip your hat to those kids. They played their hearts out and fought back from a big deficit in one of the toughest places in the country to play. They did all that three days after their school ripped their hearts out with an NCAA tournament ban for this season.

So good for them. You never know how a team is going to react to something like that, but the Cardinal players showed that they have some serious fight in them.

Iowa State’s starting center Jameel McKay remains suspended

Iowa State forward Jameel McKay celebrates on the court at the end of an NCAA college basketball game against Oklahoma, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State won 82-77. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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Steve Prohm announced on Monday that starting center Jameel McKay will not be in the lineup on Wednesday when the Cyclones take on Texas Tech.

“He’ll practice today because I want him in practice,” Prohm said, “but game-wise, he’s suspended.”

McKay did not make the trip to Stillwater with the team on Saturday, where Iowa State beat Oklahoma State, 64-59. Prohm has not gotten into specifics regarding the cause of McKay’s suspension, but it’s reportedly an issue with the way he has been practicing. McKay is dealing with a nagging knee injury, which may play a role in the situation as well.

“My hope is he’ll be with us on Saturday,” Prohm said.