There were plenty of pleasant surprises to start the season for the Wisconsin men’s basketball team. In just the second game of the season Wisconsin took down then-No. 11 Florida — likely to be No. 1 this week — at home and went on to its best start in program history while climbing to as high as third in the national rankings. There was the emergence of freshmen Bronson Koenig and Nigel Hayes, and no lingering effects of Josh Gasser’s ACL injury. But, I submit that nothing has been bigger (literally) than the rise of 7-footer Frank Kaminsky.With the departure of Jared Berggren, it was widely assumed that the starting job at the five position would be inherited by Kaminsky. But after averaging just 10 minutes and four points per game his sophomore season, no one outside of the team knew what sort of impact he could have on this Wisconsin team.Now 27 games into the season and coming off of perhaps his two best games of his career — save the 43-point outburst against North Dakota — Kaminsky has proven to be as important as anyone on the Wisconsin roster. In fact, I would wager the big man is the key to any success the Badgers hope to have in March.For starters, the Lisle, Ill. native has raised his scoring total by nearly 10 points and is the second-leading scorer on the roster averaging 13.3 points. Kaminsky is in the top-10 in rebounding, seventh in blocked shots and ranks fourth in the Big Ten with a 54.8 field goal percentage. So, it is safe to say Kaminsky is a major piece of the Wisconsin machine.But what is even more convincing is the disparity between Kaminsky’s numbers in games Wisconsin wins compared to games it loses.During the 16-game winning streak that the Badgers put together to start the season, Kaminsky was averaging 13.6 points and six rebounds. In contrast, in Wisconsin’s five losses, Kaminsky averaged just 10 points while only averaging only 2.6 free throws in those five games. In Wisconsin’s nine Big Ten wins, the center is averaging 4.1 trips to the free throw line and nearly 14 points.What jumps out at me most is the difference in three-point shots Kaminsky makes in wins compared to losses. Obviously Wisconsin has plenty of guys on the floor that can make a shot from long range, so why have your 7-footer out on the perimeter?The numbers speak for themselves. In wins, Kaminsky averages three makes from beyond the three-point line and in losses he has made just a total of one three-point shot. I believe this is the case for two reasons. One is the obvious reason that making more three-point shots give Wisconsin more points. I know, it’s genius! The other factor is when Kaminsky makes shots from three-point range, it forces the opposing team’s center to respect that shot and is forced to the perimeter when Kaminsky ventures out there. When that happens, there is much more space for backdoor cuts, drives and slashes to the basket which provide high-percentage shots for Wisconsin.But, more than any of those reasons, when determining how important Kaminsky is to the success of Wisconsin, you just need to look at the Badgers’ last two games at Michigan and at Iowa.In both of those road wins against top-15 teams, Kaminsky had huge games picking up a double double against Michigan Feb. 16 with 25 points and 11 rebounds and backed that performance up with 21 points and 7 rebounds against Iowa Feb. 22.Kaminsky was a major part in closing out both of Wisconsin’s last two games as both Iowa and Michigan mounted serious comebacks, but Kaminsky played with confidence in the paint making strong post moves to get high percentage shots and drawing fouls. And against Michigan, Kaminsky hit his biggest shot of the game from behind the three-point line with just more than two minutes left to put the game out of reach for the Wolverines.When entering the Big Ten tournament and the NCAA tournament, three-point shots will play a big role in Wisconsin’s success as usual, but if Kaminsky can continue to play with the confidence and efficiency that he has found of late, the Badgers will prove to be a tough out in the post season.A shooter can go cold from time to time, which puts teams who rely on long-range shots at risk, but if Wisconsin has Kaminsky on the block taking high-percentage shots and drawing fouls UW will have enough offensive balance to make more noise than the cardinal and white have made since 2000.
Share Submit StumbleUpon Share GiG lauds its ‘B2B makeover’ delivering Q2 growth August 11, 2020 Following four consecutive quarters of decline, a reformed Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) has welcomed a return to performance growth.As part of its Q1 2020 trading update, the Stockholm-listed online gambling technology supplier explained that it is benefiting from a group transformation and cost savings programme implemented during 2019, as corporate revenues return to €31m (Q1 2019: €32m).Operational highlights see GiG complete its short-term goal of returning media services to growth, recording Q1 revenues of €8.2m (Q1 2019: €9m) and an EBITDA of €4.5m (Q1 2019: €5m).Deploying a number of cost-saving initiatives, GiG reduced its employee headcount to below 600 staff, which saw the company secure a 3% decrease in group operational expenditures totalling €12.9m. Further strategic initiatives saw a restructured GiG sanction the sale of its entire B2C unit to Stockholm counterpart Betsson AB – a move designed to ‘reduce group complexities and improve efficiencies’. The divestment has seen GiG become a fully focused technology and services provider. The firm’s B2B segment recorded Q1 revenues of €12.7m (Q1 2019: 14.2) and EBITDA of €1.3m (Q1 2019: €3.0m).Highlighting group efficiencies, GiG pointed to stronger cash flows generated from operations and services during Q1 trading at €8m (Q1 2019: €4.5m).Closing its Q1 2020 accounts, GiG maintained cost of sales and gaming taxes at €8.6m, as the company posts period EBITDA of €2.5m (Q1 2019: €4.5m).Moving forward, GiG said it will continue to monitor COVID-19 developments. Working under constraints, GiG detailed that it will accelerate the development of its sportsbook platform as a key vertical for its continued recovery. Updating investors, GiG CEO Richard Brown said “The first quarter of 2020 has been a transformational one for GiG. A first priority over the last quarters for the Company was to address the balance sheet. “In Q1 we signed an SPA with Betsson Group enabling us to successfully divest the B2C division of the business, which completed in April, which not only paved the way for multiple strategic upsides but also allowed us to strengthen the balance sheet and reduce the Company’s debt position significantly.” “GiG now has a fully focused, end to end B2B organisation, where we are confident we can continue to deliver a leading product offering and excel in the iGaming industry as a multifaceted B2B provider.” Related Articles Kindred marks fastest route to ‘normal trading’ as it delivers H1 growth July 24, 2020 Betsson outrides pandemic challenges as regulatory dramas loom July 21, 2020
Eurosport is set to expand its Russian reach after signing a multiyear distribution deal with VimpelCom-owned IPTV operator Beeline TV. The agree agreement covers Eurosport HD and Eurosport 2 HD and will see both channels return to Beeline following a period of absence after the firms’ previous agreement lapsed.“We are delighted to be back on the Beeline IPTV Platform. Eurosport offers an unrivalled portfolio of live sporting events, which feature many famous Russian athletes, we are confident fans will enjoy,” said Eurosport senior executive vice-president of global distribution, Olivier Bramly.Beeline claims 900,000 active subscribers across Russia and offers a high definition channel line-up that now includes more than 40 stations.
After years of consecutive growth, the number of UK households with a TV set has fallen for the first time as viewers increasingly turn to other devices, according to new research by Ofcom.The UK broadcast regulator’s Infrastructure Report 2014 claims that the number of UK homes with TV sets fell from 26.33m at the end of 2012 to 26.02m at the end of 2013.“There are now nearly one million homes with broadband but no TV. Catch-up content in particular is growing in importance and being consumed on devices such as tablets, smartphones, computers and games consoles,” said Ofcom.The report claimed that today 44% of adults own a tablet, while smartphone owenership has climbed from 27% in 2011 to 60% in 2014.On average, people in the UK watch around four hours of television a day, with live linear viewing remaining the main way of consuming TV, according to Ofcom.However, the level of TV viewing reduced by approximately 4% in 2013, with Ofcom claiming it is “not yet clear whether this was the beginning of a longer-term trend or merely a temporary variation.”Among those aged 16 to 24, only half of viewing is spent on live linear TV.Other findings of the report were that a typical UK household may now need a broadband connection offering at least 10 Mbit/s, as the amount of data consumed over residential broadband is growing at “an unprecedented rate.” Ofcom also said that more work needed to be done in relation to mobile coverage and quality of service.“Digital infrastructure is crucial to the UK’s future. As a country we are continuing to make real progress, particularly in the roll out and take-up of superfast broadband and 4G mobile services. But there is more to be done. We need to continue asking whether collectively we are doing enough to build the infrastructure of the future, and to maintain the competition that benefits consumers and businesses,” said Ofcom CEO Ed Richards.
Sundance TV On Demand is launching in Portugal as a premium service exclusive to Altice Portugal’s TV platform.The service, with a range movies and series on-demand from AMC Networks International Southern Europe, will be available on Altice’s Meo service for €2.99 a month.Sundance TV On Demand will offer Portuguese viewers access to content including Spanish movie Azuloscurocasinegro(Dark Blue Almost Black) and Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man, along with series such as Rectify.The on-demand service will also showcase content shown at international film festivals including Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca, Venice, Cannes, TIFF and SXSW.The service will be available to Meo ADSL and Meo Fibra custoimers equipped with a MEOBox, complementing the existing Meo on-demand portfolio of services that includes Meo VideoClube, Disney On Demand and Meo Series.