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


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.

#CBTtop100: Counting down the Top 100 Players in college basketball

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We’ll be counting down the top 100 players in college basketball all week long. Be sure to check back here throughout the week as the countdown continues over @CBTonNBC.

Jalen Coleman-Lands cleared to practice

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 10: Jarrod Uthoff #20 of the Iowa Hawkeyes defends against Jalen Coleman-Lands #5 of the Illinois Fighting Illini in the second round of the Big Ten Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 10, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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When Illinois takes on Southeast Missouri State in the opener of the 2016-17 season, the Fighting Illini should have it’s starting backcourt out on the floor.

According to Jon Rothstein, Jalen Coleman-Lands has been cleared for all basketball activities. The sophomore two-guard has been recovering from a broken bone in his right hand.

The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.

Coleman-Lands will team up with Tracy Abrams, a point guard who was granted a sixth year of eligibility after missing the past two seasons due to injuries.

This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.

The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.

NBC Sports projected Illinois to finish eighth in the Big Ten this season.

Curtis Jones jumps over Tom Crean

Tom Crean
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Indiana held its annual Hoosier Hysteria on Saturday night.

One of the highlights from the team’s dunk contest was when freshman guard Curtis Jones jumped over Indiana head coach Tom Crean.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a newcomer us his coach as a dunk contest prop. Last week, Rawle Alkins cleared Arizona head coach Sean Miller en route to a reverse jam.

Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.

WATCH: Edmond Sumner take off from the foul line

CINCINNATI, OH - FEBRUARY 03:  Edmond Sumner #4 of the Xavier Musketeers dunks the ball during the game against the St. John's Red Storm at Cintas Center on February 3, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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Edmond Sumner is a big reason why Xavier is likely going to be a preseason top-10 team.

On Saturday night, during Musketeer Madness, Sumner won the team’s dunk contest when he took off from the foul line.

Sumner defeated freshmen Tyrique Jones and Quentin Goodin. J.P. Macura, the reigning Big East Sixth Man of the Year, took home the honors last year.

The 6-foot-6 redshirt sophomore is coming off a debut season in which he averaged 11.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.

WATCH: Duke goes crazy for Chase Jeter’s bottle flip

PROVIDENCE, RI - MARCH 17:  Chase Jeter #2 of the Duke Blue Devils looks on in the second half against the North Carolina-Wilmington Seahawks during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Dunkin' Donuts Center on March 17, 2016 in Providence, Rhode Island.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The bottle flip has become an international sensation in recent months.

It’s as simple as it sounds: flipping a water bottle in the air, attempting to have it land upright.

Duke sophomore forward Chase Jeter, in front of 9,300-plus fans, successfully pulled off the bottle flip on Saturday night at Duke’s Craziness.

Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.