Hibbing Daily Tribune
CHISHOLM — As Jeremy Fleming begins his first season on the bench of the Chisholm High School boys basketball team, he takes over a young team that will have some growing pains this season.
Fleming only has one senior and two juniors in his starting lineup. His one sophomore does have varsity experience, but other than that, the rest of the team has very little varsity time. One freshman will start, too.
That growing process begins today when the Bluestreaks travel to International Falls to to take on the Broncos in an Iron Range Conference contest, beginning at 7:15 p.m., at Falls High School.
That one senior is Dan Rusten.
“I need a lot of rebounding out of him,” Fleming said. “I need a lot of leadership on the floor. We missed him at the scrimmages last weekend. That showed a lot. We had a lot of forced turnovers from the younger guys.
“They will learn a lot. It’s going to come down to him leading the corps. He, Jude and Bryce all have varsity experience. It’s getting production out of those guys. We’ll see what happens.”
Fleming is hoping that it doesn’t take too long for this team to get acclimated to the varsity level.
“I saw some nerves and stuff in the scrimmages, trying not to make mistakes,” Fleming said. “I want to make sure they’re confident out on the floor. I want them to go out and play basketball.”
Fleming said Bryce Warner played summer basketball with Eveleth, so he should be ready to go.
“I talked to their coach, and he said he loved having him on the court,” Fleming said. “It was nice because Bryce kind of struggled last year with guys in his face. He worked on that over the summer.
“I’m interested in seeing what he does with it.”
Jude Sundquist is the sophomore, and he has plenty of varsity experience.
“It’ll be interesting to see what he does without his brother (Eli) on the court,” Fleming said. “I want to see how much he steps up, how much different he’s going to play without his brother.
“There’s going to be times when Jude is going to have the ball in his hands a lot, especially if teams give us pressure. We’ll see how he handles that pressure. Hes going to grow up fast.”
The rest of the varsity will have to grow up fast.
“I’ll think we’ll take our lumps for awhile,” Fleming said. “We’ll see how we start things off, and what adjustments we make after that.”
Offensively, what the Bluestreaks will be predicated on how well they rebound.
“Our shooting, right now, is good,” Fleming said. “We’re moving the ball unselfishly. The guys are doing a good job getting open, but I’m concentrating on the defensive side.”
Fleming is hoping his defense can get turnovers, then get out and run.
“We want to run the floor,” Fleming said. “If we can do that and pressure a little more than we have in the past, it’s going to be a good thing. We’ll use man-to-man and zone, a little bit of everything.
“There may be times when we throw a junk defense in, but I want to mix it up a lot.”
Fleming expects International Falls to be a scrappy team.
“They rebound well, and they like to push you around a little bit and test you,” Fleming said. “They’re young, but they’re tenacious and scrappy. I told them that we may go up there and shoot 40 free throws, but you never know.
“We’ll go up there, put some pressure on them and see what happens.”
Fleming is looking forward to getting that first game under his belt.
“I want to get after it,” Fleming said. “I’ve been feeding off of their energy. It’s been fun going to practice every day. Hopefully, I’ll get all of my guys back. To get that full squad back is going to be fun.”