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Hillbilly Days’ Friday News and Views


On Thursday, the small town of Pikeville, Kentucky pulled on its overalls and transformed into the three-day circus known as “Hillbilly Days,” a festival truly unlike any other. The event was founded in 1977 by “Dirty Ear” Howard Stratton and “Shady” Grady Kinney, two Shriners with the Hillbilly Clan Outhouse #2 in Pikeville. Since then, Pike County has held the annual event to raise money for the Shriner’s Hospital in Lexington, with the Shriners decking themselves and their tiny little cars in hillbilly garb to entertain the crowd. It’s grown into one of the largest festivals in the state, bringing over 100,000 people to town each year to appreciate what the festival calls “our unique Appalachian heritage and culture.”

Around these parts, Hillbilly Days may be best known as the place UK basketball players go to sign autographs and meet fans after declaring for the draft. In years past, Ramel Bradley, Joe Crawford, Lukasz Orbzutt, Terrence Jones, and Nerlens Noel have all attended the event, and this year, Nerlens is making a return appearance, along with Julius Randle.  Noel will be at the event on Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and again from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Randle will also be there on Friday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Why Hillbilly Days? Maybe the famous Quilt Show? (Mother’s Day is coming up.) The Cornhole Tournament? (They got so much practice at Madness campout!) For Nerlens, it’s probably the chance to conquer the mechanical bull, which he missed out on last year because of his injury. Whatever it is, it’s become a tale as old as time: declare for the draft, go to Hillbilly Days. Hopefully, the players will do as the festival’s motto says and “unleash their inner hillbilly.” We know Randle already likes cowboy hats.

There was a lot of news in the UK sports world today, and frustratingly, none of it had to do with the Harrison Twins. Let’s get to it.

The Harrison Twins update: There is no Harrison Twins update

Thursday was day seventeen of “Twins watch,” and sadly, there is no real update to give. The Twins have until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday to announce whether they’re staying or going, and right now, it’s anyone’s guess. We do know this: on Thursday afternoon, Aaron went to Cal’s office, but they didn’t discuss his decision. In fact, Cal says he “knows nothing yet,” and fans will learn the twins’ intent when he does. Later on in the afternoon, Aaron did sent out the tweet above, which could have a million different meanings. Feel free to exhaust yourself and give it your best guess in the comments section.

John Calipari did a Facebook chat

The man is everywhere. He has conquered every social network besides Tinder, and unless they’ve got a “basketball recruits” filter I don’t know about, I don’t see that happening. Calipari did a Facebook Q&A on Thursday, and shared a few interesting comments in between his standard book tour stump speech and breaks to LOL. Here’s my favorite, about next season:

There’s two pieces to this. One, we are going to have a team that knows what to expect. We’re going to have a team that has an expectation that is built on past performance. That’s different than hope. We will be playing more people because there will be more people to play. Marcus Lee needs to be on that court. But so does Willie, Dakari and Karl. So we will play two of them together and maybe three. Trey and Alex deserve to play. It’s a great issue that we’ll deal with.

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James Young stopped by the radio show

On Thursday morning, James Young stopped by KSR to charm listeners with his deep, beautiful voice. Young let loose a little bit in the interview, joking that at times, he didn’t always listen to Cal as closely as he should have, and very much enjoyed his time at Kentucky, right down to the ladies. How many ladies? “Like three.” Whether that’s the actual truth or not, it was fun to see James come out of his shell a bit. Listen to his full interview below:

The NCAA got one step closer to sanity

After being publicly humiliated for over a year, the NCAA is finally taking action to right some wrongs. First, they put an end to the whole food restriction thing, which Calipari is still so flabbergasted by at this point he might as well have a sponsorship from JIF peanut butter. On Thursday, the NCAA “generally agreed” on the autonomy of the five major conferences–the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, and SEC. If the vote goes through in August, those conferences will be allowed to self-govern issues like financial aid, insurance, academic support, and travel for families, a huge talking point of Cal’s.

The whole thing is such a good idea, it’s like Cal came up with it. Oh, wait…

The NBA may be one step closer to two and toodaloo

In news that should make you extremely happy, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said on Thursday that he wants to raise the NBA age limit from 19 to 20, so that players will have to stay in college two years, and not one. Silver said two-and-through two and toodaloo “will be in the best interest of the league,” and could go in effect as early as next summer. Now, the NBA Players’ Association needs to come to the table and agree to it, which is easier said than done. All in favor of sending them bacon, say “aye!”.

The Spring Game is coming

It’s time to get ready for some football. The Spring Game is Saturday at 3:30 p.m., and throughout the next few days, we’ll have player profiles and updates from the team’s last practice on Friday. The game is close to a sell out, but there’s still time to get tickets. Click here to head on over to Ticketmaster to claim your spot, and if you’re not excited enough about the game, maybe this video of Running Backs Coach Chad Scott will put you over the top:

…that laugh.

Friday is a big day, as the Twins’ decision and the announcement of Barry “Slice” Rohrssen could break at any time. Stay tuned to KSR for all the latest, and in the meantime, enjoy this adorable picture of Julius and a young fan: BmCHWGhCYAAelKJ

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

22 Comments for Hillbilly Days’ Friday News and Views

  1. Super Hillbilly
    11:10 pm April 24, 2014 Permalink

    I would say Aaron was in Cal’s office to see if he was going to a Hill Billy Days? Get real! Cal knows.

  2. Al/in/Indy
    11:24 pm April 24, 2014 Permalink

    MHO Cal knows, but really doesn’t want to take anything from the Double A’s spotlight until they’re ready. What I think is with the way they were treated early in the season by some of our (and I say this loosely) fans, a little pay back could be in order for not giving their decision any sooner than they have.
    We are a fanatical bunch that any team college/pro would love to have, but in the same breath would hate to have. Sometimes (in the voice of Archie Bunker) we need to “stifle it” and let those youngins’ play their game.

    • We Hang Banners
      11:39 pm April 24, 2014 Permalink


  3. Mc
    11:25 pm April 24, 2014 Permalink

    I think the tweet was because he was robbed by a sweet old lady on a motorized cart. If you can’t trust a grandma, who can you trust?

  4. Super a Hillbilly
    11:45 pm April 24, 2014 Permalink

    I must admit I was 1 of those who really got down on them early on for their displays of what I thought was poor attitude. But hey they are just 18-19 years old. I really hope they come back. I would like to personally apologize to both of them. They are great players!!!

  5. Chaz
    11:46 pm April 24, 2014 Permalink

    That’s one heck of a post MTT, those pictures say much. I see Woo scanning the crowd for gummy bears, Joe Crawford chilling and Ramel ready to take out my eye balls with that double barrell. And that shot of Julius, my goodness, he could be Louie Armstrong’s son. Expecting him to sing It’s a Wonderful World any second now. It is a Wonderful World sometimes, like today has been.

    Go Cats!

  6. David
    12:21 am April 25, 2014 Permalink

    are they transferring to Gonzaga?? …

  7. Bigger Blue
    12:37 am April 25, 2014 Permalink

    “Conference autonomy…” I really thought the NCAA would put up more of a fight to maintain their existence. It looks like they have must have Dr. Kevorkian on speed dial!

  8. Barry
    1:50 am April 25, 2014 Permalink

    Im sure I’ll get blasted, but the twins and his dad think they are better then what they really are.

    • Buckets
      1:58 am April 25, 2014 Permalink

      And you think your opinion is better than what it really is. Considering the fact that you don’t know any of them personally, your statement comes off as judgmental and, honestly, quite stupid.

    • Casper
      2:02 am April 25, 2014 Permalink

      yep. And they think Cal’s coaching hurt them
      and they think they will perform better in the NBA
      than in college. I think they are waiting to see how
      many guards declare to better gauge their first
      round chances. I wish KSR would update us on
      the guards that have declared so far.

    • Buckets
      2:08 am April 25, 2014 Permalink

      Well, Casper, if you knew how to do anything other than make crap up on KSR, you could figure that information out for yourself.

      It’s called google.

    • Cal
      6:07 am April 25, 2014 Permalink

      Buckets, that update you linked is a month old.
      And old man Harrison swears at me during games.

  9. Buckets
    2:06 am April 25, 2014 Permalink

    Who let the mentally challenged play on the computer tonight?

  10. That dude is hilarious.
    6:38 am April 25, 2014 Permalink

    He had the Rand Paul crowd and the entire conservative media on his side, and then he made the mistake of saying out loud what everyone knew he believed.

  11. mark
    7:47 am April 25, 2014 Permalink

    They have till 11:59 to enter draft paperwork IF that’s what they are going to do. They dont have to annonce that they are STAYING at UK,they ARE on the rooster until they decide to leave,not the other way around, where do people get this stuff that they HAVE to make an announcement whether they are staying or leaving by Sunday at 11:59. They can choose to make an announcement either way but they dont have to.

  12. Larry
    7:59 am April 25, 2014 Permalink

    If no new guard prospects declare for the NBA draft by Sunday evening, I think the twins submit their paperwork for the draft and either have a hastily arranged conference to announce or inform us via social media. Just a guess of course…

    • MARK
      8:38 am April 25, 2014 Permalink

      The draft doesnt differentiate positions,if a player enters that is projected higher than them in the draft it doesnt matter what position they play.Example,Deandre Daniels is a SF but if he decides to enter the draft it pushes Andrew and AAron down a spot.

  13. Stu Katz
    8:03 am April 25, 2014 Permalink

    Just a thought, Cal will hold off on annoucing Slice as the new Asst to give the twins the whole stage.
    Plus, if the twins announce that they will enter the draft, Cal will shortly thereafter announce the hiring of Slice to have some good news follow bad. Of course, if the twins return, then the Slice will be good news after good news. Let hope for the second scenario.

  14. Bubba
    8:35 am April 25, 2014 Permalink

    How are Hillbilly Days different from any other day in Pikeville? I don’t see a difference.

  15. Rob S.
    10:36 am April 25, 2014 Permalink

    That is not a “young” fan. The person being held by Julius Randle in that picture is actually a 24-year-old MMA fighter named Clark Evans. He only looks 3 because JR is huge.

    I saw Lukasz Obrzut in the High Street post office once. The man was enormous. The only human I’ve seen in person larger than Woo was Andre the Giant. I’m still not convinced he was real.

  16. Inquisitive
    11:03 am April 25, 2014 Permalink

    2 questions:

    1. Where exactly will Nerlens and Randle be at Hillbilly Days, like what section. It’s a pretty big area, and as you know I’m one of those ignorant hill folk lol.

    2. Will they have items there for you to buy to sign, or do you bring your own items? NOT ENOUGH INFO KSR.