Val also played a key role in the semi-final against Houston, where he faced Houston’s senior striker Reggie Cheney at both ends. At least six of Val’s nine points were obtained by attacking the post and hitting the ring. He was also aggressive on loose balls and rebounds, ending up with seven high-level boards.
UW coach Greg Gard said he doesn’t want to call it “Val’s party,” but Val has shown clear improvements in the tournament from his first three games of the season. He was the team’s fourth top scorer with 7.7 points in an average of 24.3 minutes per game before traveling to Vegas. In the Maui Invitational, he averaged 11 points in 32.6 minutes per game.
“[Wahl] leaves the sophomore and seems to be waiting in the wings … [to] he takes over as a leader [this year] “Being a first grader was great for him,” said Gard. “His mental confidence and belief or conviction of himself that he is in this position.”
Davis was the team’s top scorer before missing out on November 15 against Providence, averaging 15 points and 5.3 rebounds at the Maui Invitational. He hasn’t missed a beat since returning from a lower-body injury and remained stable in Vegas, taking another offensive step forward against Texas A&M, No. 12 in Houston and St Mary’s to improve his seasonal averages to 20 , 2 points and 5.6 rebounds.