Numbers game: the impressive production of Hall of Famers Larry Harris and Jerome Lane

PITTSBURG – Pitt Basketball Legends Larry Harris and Jerome Lane are inducted into the Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame Friday night at Acrisure Stadium in recognition of their storied career on the hardwood. Harris, an elite forward from 1975 to 1978, and Lane, a prolific power forward from 1986 to 1988, remain among Pitt’s all-time leaders in several categories after filling in the scoring boxes throughout their career.

Voice of the Panthers Bill Hillgrove fondly remembers the careers of the two great Panthers and provided his thoughts on the tandem.

“Larry was a clutch shooter who wanted the ball in the big moments,” Hillgrove said. “He didn’t have the perfect jump shot, but boy did it work for him, especially in the clutch. I’ll never forget UMass athletic director Frank McInerney stopped the game when Larry broke Pitt’s record for presenting him with the game ball.”

While Harris clearly had the clutch gene, Hillgrove also identifies Lane as one of the three most talented players to don the Pitt jersey. His lasting legacy was further solidified by the tomahawk dunk against Providence that smashed a sign at Pitt’s Fitzgerald Field House, delaying an ESPN nationally televised broadcast for more than 30 minutes. Legendary analyst Bill Raftery punctuated the moment with his unforgettable plea of ​​”Send it, Jerome!”

“Jerome had incredible talent,” Hillgrove said. “He had a great talent for bouncing the basketball, but also possessed an amazing ability to pass the basketball, especially for someone who was such a good rebounder.”

With two more Pitt Basketball trailblazers taking their place in the Hall of Fame, it’s the perfect time to look back on their careers and the numbers that set them apart from their peers.

Larry Harris – 6-6 – 205 – Forward – Lorain, Ohio (Clearview)

  • Two-time All-Eastern 8 selection
  • 1,914 career points, third all-time at Pitt
    • One of three Pitt players (joining Don Hennon and Billy Knight) to average 20 or more points per game in three different seasons
    • Led the Eastern 8 with 22.9 points per game in 1977
    • 17.9pp. career scoring average is fourth all-time
    • Recorded two of the top six single-season scoring averages at Pitt

  • Recorded a program record 81 consecutive double-digit games (3/8/75-3/3/78)
  • Scored 30 or more points 14 times
    • Posted a career-high 39 points twice (at Maryland, 2/15/77 and against Syracuse, 12/6/75)
    • Scored 74 points over a two-game streak (35 vs. Duquesne, 2/12/77 and 39 vs. Maryland, 2/15/77), the second most in program history

  • Scored 20 or more points 19 times in 1977, second to Pitt
  • Shot 50.7% from the field and 77.8% from the foul line for his career
  • 1978 Buffalo Braves fourth-round NBA draft pick
  • Spent nearly three decades as an assistant coach at the college level

Jerome Lane – 6-6 – Forward – Akron, Ohio (St. Vincent-St. Mary)

  • Two-time All-America selection
  • Scored 1,217 points and 970 rebounds in just three seasons
    • Rows 26e all times in notation
    • Ranks third all-time in rebounds
    • One of five players with at least 1,000 career points and 900 career rebounds

  • Recorded 53 double-digit rebound games and 46 double-doubles
    • Set program records with 28 double-digit rebound games and 26 double-doubles in 1987

  • One of two players in the program’s history at averagee more than 12.0 rebounds per game in consecutive seasons
  • Combined with Charles Smith to lead Pitt to back-to-back Big East titles (1987 and 1988) and NCAA spots
  • Shot to stardom as a sophomore when he became the smallest player since Elgin Baylor (1957) to lead the NCAA in rebounding (13.5 average).
  • Led the Big East to bounce back for two consecutive seasons (1986-88), becoming the first player to accomplish this feat
  • First-round NBA Draft selection by the Denver Nuggets in 1988
    • Also played for the Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers