For almost the entirety of Duke's 70-59 victory, Patrick repeatedly referred to Clemson's coach as either "Brad Brownwell" or "Brad Brownlee." Only with 4:44 remaining in the second half was a producer kind enough to whisper in Patrick's ear that it was actually "Brad Brownell" who might not be pleased with the Tigers' shot selection.
"I'm not sure Brad Brownlee would say, hey, that's the play I'd like to have ... Or Brad Brownell, excuse me," Patrick said after 6-foot-8 center Devin Booker sank a top-of-the-key 3-pointer. "I'm not sure that's the play he'd like to have to get Booker to shoot the three. But it worked."
It's unfair to condemn Patrick too harshly for his blunder since we all occasionally mess up names, but it's rare for it to occur that many times throughout a two-hour broadcast. The funniest aspect was to watch frustration build among Clemson fans each time Patrick pronounced Brownell's name wrong.
Then anger ...
Then bemusement ...
And finally rejoicing ....
Patrick's mispronunciation of Brownell's name actually backed up the point Brownell made after the loss about Clemson not receiving sufficient respect. The first-year coach argued the Tigers (19-10, 8-7 ACC) deserve more credit for their success with only nine scholarship players adjusting to a new system.
"I hear a lot about other teams having eight scholarships," Brownell said, referring to fellow ACC bubble team Virginia Tech. "We've had nine scholarships all year. We've had guys leave and some are playing with a new coach. I don't think enough has been made of what my guys have been able to accomplish and overcome: a new system, new coaching, nine scholarship players, practicing against coaches, walkons, students, managers, grabbing a football player.
"This is the first time I've ever mentioned it, so damn it, I want someone to write something about how hard our team [has] played. I'm tired of reading about everybody else in the league."
Will Brownell's speech get the Tigers into the NCAA tournament? It probably depends on how Clemson fares against Virginia Tech on Saturday and then in the ACC tournament.
Will his speech help get his name pronounced correctly next time? Let's hope so.
- Brad Brownell
- Mike Patrick