As an out and proud Richmond supporter, I thought nothing could rival the man-love I feel for Dustin Martin…
… I was wrong. The man-love coming (lol) from Carlton supporters for Patrick Cripps is on another level. “He’s a beast!”, they cry. “He’s never had a full preseason!” they yell. “I want to lock him in my basement and watch him while he sleeps,” is something I’ve probably seen on Twitter.
Patrick Cripps – The Facts
2018 Price: 537,300
2017 Games: 15
2017 Average: 97.7
2017 100+ scores: 9
2017 -80 scores: 4 (one was because of injury)
If you got your hot little hands on the 2017 Jock Reynolds magazine, you’ll fondly remember a certain page you found yourself constantly flicking back to. No I’m not talking about the centrefold, rather the Hunting the Next Midfield Beast article.
It looked at the first 50 games of established midfield beasts – Bont, Fyfe, JPK, Neale, Pendlebury, Rocky, Sloane, and Treloar. Looking at stats like their total possessions, contested possessions, clearances, tackles, goals, time on ground %, and SC average from game 1-10, 11-20 and so on. By finding the average of these statistical markers, they could then be applied to up and coming beasts to see if, from a statistical viewpoint, they’d be ready to break out.
Averages for the beasts
|Game range||SC Ave||Disp||Con/Disp||Clerances||Tackles||Goals||TOG%|
At the time of publishing, Cripps had smashed it in his first 40 games. Only recording a lower SC average during games 31-40 (103 v 98) and a lower amount of goals across all four game ranges. How did his 41-50 block of games pan out? Let’s have a look.
Cripps’ averages for games 41-50
(Green = good. Red = bad)
Even though his disposal average dropped by 3 from game 31-40 to game 41-50, his SC average increased by 10. Cripps looks primed and ready to go. Now before you Carlton fanboys reach for the tissues and hand lotion, I do have some concerns.
Look at his TOG%. I love TOG%. If wannabe beasts are going about their business for longer you’d naturally expect their SC average to rise. Cripps is basically tapped out in that regard. The top 5 contested bulls from last season (Danger, Dusty, Oliver, Matt Crouch, Tom Mitchell) had a TOG% average of 82%. Looking at games 21-50 overall, his key stats don’t move around all that much, you could draw the conclusion that what he does on the field in the time that he’s there has reached its peak.
Ignoring his 3 game debut season where he copped the substitute frog vest twice, he’s played 56 games for 31 100+ scores at a rate of just over a 100 every two games (55%), with 11 of those 31 being 120+ (35% – one in three games). At his price point, this is serviceable, in a year of stacked midfields this isn’t all that great.
Away from the numbers, Carlton’s list is what the French call a certain – le shité – Champion Data ranking them last in list quality list year. With a further 13 list turnovers this year, the loss of Gibbs to Adelaide and Docherty to an ACL, there’s a leadership vacuum and Cripps will once again be asked to shoulder a lot of midfield responsibility.
There’s no doubt Cripps will be a good player, in fact he already is a good player, but I question whether he can become the next great SuperCoach point scoring pig based purely on stats.
Fans of what I call the “even build” approach to Supercoach – that is: a few premiums, a midpricer, the rest rookies – will no doubt see the appeal of someone like Cripps. However, in a year of stacked mids if he blows it or doesn’t take a a big enough step he becomes a bit of middling player that’s good, but not good enough to match it with the top midfielders.
Cripps is not a bad pick, but you’re taking him entirely on faith that he will improve his footballing smarts rather than him taking another big statistical jump in 2018.
What do you think, Community? Will Cripps tear 2018 apart?