I agree that at the mid-major level, experience is huge. It is the primary reason why these mid-majors can go on runs in the NCAA tournament as they are men (21/22 year olds) playing against “one and done” 18/19 year olds. Plus they have 60-120 games at the college level under their belt. The era of the “one and done” has made it better for mid-majors come tournament time. On paper looking preseason, you had to love an experienced Lafayette team, and although they struggled at times during the season, their experience and desire for one last go around (that urgency) has put them into a PL final. Their only non-veteran (Lindner) plays like a veteran, and has been huge down the stretch in games.
On the athleticism topic, the “eye test” is really all we have to go on. There is not going to be a Superstars competition preseason to see how athletic these guys are. They are not going to a combine before the season, so we can test them out. I think, after watching all of the PL teams, Lehigh is clearly the most athletic. We have one guy in TK who is not super athletic, but he is a really big skilled player (rarely seen in this league). The younger guys we have brought in who contribute are all plus athletes in my opinion (MS, AP, KR, BA). We you see a 6′ nothing MS elevate and jam so easily, you know he is damn athletic. We are losing 3 of our most unathletic guys in CS, SC and CB. We also are athletic in the frontcourt with JG and JC, who are bigger guys who can jump, are quick, and can run the floor. I think we clearly were more athletic than Colgate, American, Lafayette, and Bucknell based on the eye test. Quickness, jumping ability, ability to run the floor, explosiveness, etc. Unfortunately, athleticism doesn’t win you ball games, particularly in the era of the 3 point shot, where teams can have a non-athletic specialist who can shoot the ball. (Ptasinski for example, but really Lafayette’s core). As said earlier, we don’t get a lot out of our athleticism as we are not picking up full court and not really pressuring our opponents. We have the athletes to do that, in my opinion, but we don’t for whatever reason. I guess since we run everything in the halfcourt through TK, and he is not a get up and down the floor type of player, we are not interested in really pushing tempo. But, Reed, in my opinion, has done a better job of recruiting more athletes over the last 6 or so years.