Tracy Bergan is becoming such a drawing card for the Loyola College basketball team that some people admit they go to Reitz Arena specifically to see him.
The 6-foot, 165-pound sophomore put on another great show last night as Loyola came from behind once again to beat Manhattan, 81-72. Bergan had 29 points.
Bergan has been the driving force as the Greyhounds have won four straight, six of seven, and improved their overall record to 12-11. They're now 5-7 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
To be sure, the hard-nosed Bergan is a crowd pleaser, but one member of his growing fan club -- local basketball guru Paul Baker -- goes so far as to say Bergan will go down as the greatest guard in Loyola's history.
I don't know about that. Nap Doherty, John Heagney, and Barney Goldberg, to name just three, were awfully good guards. But Bergan has two more years to match or top them.
* The Baltimoreans who made the pilgrimage to Philadelphia last week to watch Penn and Princeton play basketball could see with their own eyes why the Palestra is called "the ultimate college arena." But there was something else about the place, something not as obvious.
It remained for Loyola's Tom Schneider, who coached four years at Penn, to put his finger on it. "The Palestra," he says, "even smells the way an arena should."
* Baltimore might seem to be monopolizing the time of Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner Gene Corrigan, having him here two straight weekends -- even though no ACC games are being played here.
Corrigan was master of ceremonies last Saturday at the Lacrosse Foundation's Hall of Fame enshrinement banquet. This Friday at the Omni he'll attend the first ACC football banquet ever held outside the Carolinas. All of which is fine with Corrigan. He's a native son and has lots of family here.
"I guess some people wondered if I was favoring my old hometown when we moved the football banquet here," Corrigan says. "But I've seen enough already to know we've done the right thing for the conference.
"John McGeehan, Bill Gaertner, Terry Arenson, Henry Rosenberg, Tom Lattanzi and the Quarterback Club people have done an outstanding job lining up sponsors and setting this up. Every ACC football head coach and the all-conference players will be here. It's going to be a first-class affair. Our presence here will be good for the ACC."
Ticket information is available at 296-7500.
* Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams met ex-Baltimore Colt Jim Parker for the first time at lunch recently and the two really hit it off. Both are Ohio State alums.
Parker was a football star there before he became a Colt and made the NFL Hall of Fame. Williams coached the Buckeyes for four years before coming back to Maryland, his alma mater.
When the two parted, Parker said: "Gary, I'll call any high school coach in Baltimore and tell him you're a right guy and I'd like to see him send his players to you."
That could be very helpful to Williams and the Terps. Parker (whose son played football at Maryland) is one of the most respected athletic figures in Baltimore, where Maryland has had its problems recruiting.
What's more, Williams has said Baltimore's high schools have as many top junior and senior prospects as any in the country.
* Jack Griffin, who coached two world-class runners in the '60s in Frederick, told the State of Maryland Athletic Hall of Fame two years ago he couldn't separate the two -- Debbie Thompson Brown and Tammy Davis Thompson.
So the committee did it for him, inducting Debbie last year and Tammy this. Looking back on it as a member of the selection committee, I'm starting to think Griffin was right in the first place. We should have put them in together.
Tammy Davis Thompson will go in next Monday at the Hall of Fame's annual installation luncheon at Martin's West with Tom Phoebus, Lefty Stern and George Cusick. Tickets can be obtained from D. Chester O'Sullivan at 333-6315.