Kaukauna will be different next season, but Schalow is confident

Kaukauna's Donovan Ivory goes up for a layup against Westosha Central in a Division 2 state semifinal this past season at the Kohl Center. Ivory will be a key player for the Ghosts this coming season. (Doug Ritchay/WLUK)

KAUKAUNA (WLUK) -- The last four basketball seasons were great for the Kaukauna boys program which won two gold balls in Division 2 in this period and was led by the program's all-time best player in Jordan McCabe.

But players eventually move on and McCabe has as well as other key players from the last four seasons in Dylan Kurey and Eric Carl.

Because of this most people might believe the 2018 Division 2 state champs are in store for a letdown, and maybe the Ghosts will fall back a little, but don't expect them to crumble. This is a program that was accomplished before McCabe and Co. came onto the scene as coach Mike Schalow led Kaukauna to the 2012 Division 2 state title game where it fell to Onalaska.

This summer is Schalow's first look at next season's team and the Ghosts have been busy with summer league play.

"Very important time of the year for us," Schalow said. "We get a chance to be able to spend time with our players, work on different situations, get to see them play against a variety of different teams."

Kaukauna brings back the likes of Donovan Ivory, Keaton Ferris and Logan Jedwabny. Ivory had seven points and nine rebounds in the state title game, Ferris had 14 points and Jedwabny had 11 points in the state semifinal win. The cupboard isn't bare and Schalow hasn't always had McCabe to run the offense, so this is nothing new for him.

"I think this team is going to be built a little bit different, but at the same time we like what we're seeing in the early part of the summer," Schalow said. "Our team has actually played 27, 28 games already this summer, so we've been very busy. I like the progress we've been making.

"I think people will overlook us because of who we lost. I think we can surprise a lot of people."

Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay