In a hotel meeting room in Syracuse on Tuesday night, Clemson basketball coach Brad Brownell was waxing philosophical.
"After you've been coaching for a while, your reward comes in watching your players achieve great things," Brownell told his players the night before the played at Syracuse. "... You are really excited when one of your players busts his tail, competes and works and then you watch something really cool happen for them.
"Tonight's a really special night for us, because something cool is getting ready to happen for somebody in our program. Starting second semester, Lyles is going to be on scholarship."
With that, Clemson players erupted from their seats in celebration, surrounding walk-on guard Lyles Davis of James Island and pounding him on the back. "Lyles! Lyles!" the Tigers shouted as they towered over the 5-11 Davis, by far the smallest player on the team.
Davis, a three-time team captain at James Island Charter High School, is a senior at Clemson, in the midst of his fourth season as a walk-on. As Brownell said, his walk-on status will end with the start of the second semester.
"One of the coolest moments of my life," Davis posted on Twitter. "I couldn’t be more appreciative of every teammate, coach, and staff member I’ve had during my four years at Clemson."
Davis has played in 17 games across four seasons at Clemson, including three this season. In 2016-17, he received the team's most improved player award. Last spring, he won an academic excellence award.
One of the coolest moments of my life, I couldn’t be more appreciative of every teammate, coach, and staff member I’ve had during my four years at Clemson💜 https://t.co/S6kubsYMU2— Lyles Davis (@LylesDavis1) January 9, 2019