How the Warriors “Stole” Their Favorite Play

Linked below is one of the best coaching articles I’ve read in a while. The piece traces “Cyclone” – the Golden State Warriors’ favorite set play – back to its beginning: University of Montana when Stew Morrill was the head coach. Kerr picked up the play from Fred Hoiberg’s Iowa State teams (hence the name). Hoiberg called the play “Cougar” after stealing it from BYU in 2012. BYU’s Dave Rose picked it up from his assistant Dave Rice who learned it while an assistant under Morrill at Utah State. The full article is linked below, but sits behind Wall Street Journal’s paywall so I embedded my notes on the article below. Video of the play (plus some of Morrill’s counters) is beneath the link as well. Like its mentioned in the article, Morrill is one of the best set plays coaches of all-time, check out my post on some of his favorite sets (LINK).

Morrill, who retired in 2015 after more than 600 wins at three schools, had a reputation among his peers for this sort of X’s and O’s wizardry. “I love Stew’s stuff,” Hoiberg said. Morrill was a widely respected tactician. There was nothing he enjoyed more than being in his office late at night eating pizza, drinking beer and diagraming plays. “Sometimes it was really good, and sometimes it was really bad,” Morrill said. “Dribble was one of those that was really good.” He came up with Dribble all the way back in 1986, his first season as a head coach, while tinkering with his trusty assistant Blaine Taylor. It had everything they wanted in a set play. It was quick. It was deceptive. And it was almost impossible to defend when executed properly.


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