But he certainly could have used Landry Nnoko in Clemson's 63-58 loss to Virginia at Littlejohn Coliseum.
Not only were the Tigers were out-rebounded 33-20, but they also gave up 26 points in the paint and 13 second-chance points.
Nnoko, who's been fighting the flu, wasn't even on the bench to watch Josh Smith and Sidy Djitte combine for seven points, four rebounds and no blocked shots against the Cavaliers.
"It's obvious Landry would have helped us, but I don't like talking about that because it takes away from the players that do play," Brownell said. "Those guys fought today and did some good things for us. Josh and Sidy competed hard.
"We were in a position to win without Landry, but we just didn't get it done."
While the numbers may not necessarily reflect it, Nnoko's been one of Brownell's most reliable players all season. In ACC play, Nnoko averages 6.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. In those 11 games, he's blocked 16 shots.
Without Nnoko serving as the last line of defense in front of the Clemson basket, Virginia center Mike Toby made 7-of-9 shots and finished with 14 points.
K.J. McDaniels was the only player to block a Cavalier shot.
"It hurt a little bit," McDaniels said, when asked about not having Nnoko to help patrol the paint. "It gave the other guys opportunity to be out there and see what it's like to fight in that type of battle…just to be down there. It helped Sidy and Ibby [Djambo]. They learned from it."
Nnoko began feeling the symptoms late in the week.
"He practiced the first day. I don't think he felt great, but he practice. [Friday], he was just sick all day, 103 degree temperature, hasn't eaten," Brownell said. "I think [the temperature] went down for a little bit, for a while, but it was 101 or more today, but there was no chance for him to play."
With a Tuesday date against N.C. State up next, Brownell is unsure just how well Nnoko will be by then.
"We hope there might be a chance, if he can keep some food down and have some sort of energy level, maybe he can come in for a little while," Brownell said. "But, really, we knew he was doubtful last night and no chance today."
Feeling the effects
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