AAU Hoops Coach to Talk Illinois Basketball

Illinois basketball fans, Saturday's scrimmage wasn't only for the players, coaching staff and fans, but AAU coaches as well. Luther Topps, who coaches the Ferrari AAU Travel basketball team had plenty to say about Illinois and the scrimmage. Get inside.

Luther Topps is lucky to coach his son Antonio and star guard Derrick Rose, both who are becoming hot commodities throughout the country. "My son Antonio is getting some interest from Illinois, Nebraska, Bradley and Ball St., but he's still fairly young right now." Actually Rose and Topps both are only sophomores in high school. Rose is getting looks from everyone that coaches college basketball.

Both of the boys are really quiet in public, but when they got in the car we talked about the game all the way home, they really liked what they saw from Illinois. "Coach Bruce Weber is good, he showed me a lot at the scrimmage, people better start noticing that he's a good coach."

"Bruce let's his kids play to their strength," Antonio and Derrick both said to me on the way home, how much freedom he gives Dee, Luther and Deron. Coach Weber let's those boys play the way the game is supposed to be played, hard, fast and with defense. They have athletes and they really push the ball up the court. When Bill Self was down there they never played like that." Topps said.

Topps is a believer that coaches are like a psychiatrist, "you have to treat every kid different, these kids come from different backgrounds and you can't treat them all the same. I hear coach Weber does a good job of that down there. I tell my kids all the time, I have good things now, but I wasn't always this fortunate. If they work hard they can have good things in life, but never forget where you came from and help others when you make it," stressed Topps.

"When my son, or any player gets mad at me, I just tell them to take their frustration out on the court not me, I'm trying to help them. Sometimes when kids tell me that life's not fair, I tell them the same thing, get mad out their, not at people." Topps said.

Topps is another coach who believes in taking care of the state of Illinois first. "I will tell you right now, I think all coaches in Illinois should look at our state schools. But the key is to have good coaches, like Illinois and DePaul." said Topps. However Topps feels if the state schools don't want the kids, then they should go somewhere else, these kids just want to play basketball. Case in point, Marcus Arnold, who is sitting out the year because he transferred from Illinois St. "I don't know what happened there, but that kid is going to be a player for Illinois when he's able to play." Topps said.

"Illinois will be fun to watch play. Weber plays the game the way it should be played, up and down the court. I don't see how anyone couldn't like what they saw down their, my two players sure did." stated Topps.

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