Deck of Dream Team 2012: Ben McEvoy
Big Ben steps up as St Kilda’s prime ruckman after a stellar run in 2011. With so many lock-and-load ruck combinations available for 2012, is he on your radar?
Why should I pick him? As their only specialist ruckman, Big Ben will shoulder most of the ruck work for the Saints. That’s no disrespect to Gardiner, who in reality is is likely to be playing a backup role to McEvoy. Go past those two and St Kilda’s ruck division doesn’t go any deeper.
If you were following McEvoy’s progress last season, you’ll be licking your lips at the prospect of 2012 where his role as lone ruck should translate to healthy Dream Team scores. Let’s have a quick look-see at his 2011 numbers… He averaged 90.4 with twelve 90+ scores, including a remarkable purple patch between R10-21 where he pumped out 97, 139, 110, 117, 112, 106, 61, 106, 90, 95 and 97. It’s hard not to be impressed by those numbers!
While not the most athletic big man around, he is a hard worker and he has proven that he can hold his own against the established guns. At just 22 years old, there’s plenty of scope for improvement after putting himself on the ruck radar last season.
Why shouldn’t I pick him? McEvoy looks like he’s trapped in a 40-year-old’s body and his lean-ish frame can be dominated by bulkier types like Mumford, resulting in occasional below-average output. Physical strength is one key aspect of his game that he will be working on for the new season though, so expect him to come out stronger for 2012.
A couple of slight niggles are his handball-to-kick ratio which sits at 1.6:1, and his lack of goals at only 0.2 per game . These aren’t issues to be overly concerned about though. Rucks don’t typically rely on lots of kicks to rack up Dream Team points. And if McEvoy starts kicking a few more goals next season, his scores will get a nice bump skyward!
Deck of DT Rating: King. On the back of a breakout 2011, he’ll be premium-priced and deservedly so. As St Kilda’s Number One ruck, his Dream Team numbers should be consistent week-by-week as he continues to establish himself as a gun ruckman.