CALDWELL, Idaho (BVM) – In his second season at College of Idaho, Ricardo Time isn’t used to empty seats in the J.A. Albertson’s Activity Center. What’s usually a rowdy, purple sea of Yote basketball fans has become sounds of shoes squeaking on the hardwood while both teams are shouting out plays.
Regardless of the noises around him, Time has never lost focus on being the aggressive, versatile guard that makes the Yotes a dangerous team yet again. It’s a quality that’s brought him unwavering success over his basketball career, but it’s also a quality that’s been with him since before he stepped foot in Caldwell.
A Palm Beach, Fla. native, Time attended Atlantic Christian Academy: a small, private high school with less than 300 students. The Sharks, ranked in 2A high school sports classification, didn’t play the big high schools that went as high as the 8A division. Atlantic Christian’s program might have been small, but the cupboard wasn’t bare with talent. Time, a 2A All-District selection his senior year, led the boys basketball team to an 18-5 overall record in ‘16-’17.
A 7-1 conference record would get Time’s team to the 2A Florida High School State Tournament, but would lose in the regional semifinals to the eventual 2A state champion Miami Christian High School.
Time had the dedication and heart to play college basketball, which meant traveling 2,800+ miles to West Hills Community College in Coalinga, Calif.
Just south of Fresno, Time would join the Falcons in 2017 and make an immediate impact. With the ball in his hands, Time lit up anyone in his way, averaging 22 points a game and accounting for four 30-point nights as a sophomore. On defense, the starting guard averaged seven rebounds and was named to the Central Valley Conference (CVC) All-Defensive team. In two years at West Hills, Time was named a two-time CVC All-Conference selection.
Time’s short stint with the Falcons proved just how aggressive and versatile he was on the court, and it didn’t take long before College of Idaho were interested in his raw talent. At a junior college showcase in the Los Angeles, Calif. area, Yotes head coach Colby Blaine discovered Time and found his next great player.
“I happened to catch [Time] at one of the games and immediately fell in love with all of his intangibles,” said Blaine. “He could shoot, but watching him play he was all about snapping his passes, rebounding and getting deflections. It became clear that he fit our culture. He had the background to do that and that’s what I fell in love with.”
Time transferred to a men’s basketball program that just came off a Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC) championship and NAIA Division II national semifinal appearance in ‘18-’19. Led by Blaine, Time joined a squad where his offensive and defensive presence could be felt on a whole new level. Starting all 34 games last season, the junior averaged 10 points and five rebounds a game, including a miraculous game winning three-pointer against Southern Oregon University.
“He brought an athleticism about him that we needed. He brought a skill set in terms of being able to shoot at an elite level,” said Blaine. “One thing that people don’t value is that he quickly learned our system. He had to learn a new defensive and offensive system and, in that process, you have to be able to keep your confidence, figure out your role and still produce. And he showed, early last year, that he could handle all that. As the year went on, he was a guy who could play with a great group of returners who had set themselves up for a great year.”
Time, with the NAIA All-American seasons of Talon Pinckney and Nate Bruneel, would guide College of Idaho to an overwhelming 20-0 conference record, a CCC championship, and the No. 1 ranking in NAIA Division II.
The magical season would soon close its doors, however, with the COVID-19 pandemic canceling the national tournament after just a day into the opening round. It ended the chance of a national title for Time, but left his junior campaign on a season no Yote will ever forget.
Following the graduation of Pinckney and Bruneel, Time entered his senior season in the spotlight and with so much more to prove. With key returners Conner Desaulniers, Jalen Galloway and Ivory Miles-Williams, Time put himself in a position to build off his epic junior season.
“He did a great job in the offseason continuing to develop his body. He worked hard on both his physical strength and his conditioning as well as honing in his diversity in terms of scoring,” said the third year head coach.
“Last year, we used him a lot as a shooter. This year he’s taking on more of a scoring role and to do that consistently you have to diversify the way you score. That means the foul line, hitting open shots, and finishing at the rim with contact. You have to have an arsenal, and he’s done a good job with that. He’s the focus of our scouting report now.”
As Time’s senior season began, the obstacles would soon take surface. Since tip off against Montana Tech on Nov. 27, the team has faced multiple cancellations due to the ongoing pandemic. Due to the circumstances, the Yotes scheduled five consecutive games against NCAA Division I opponents in December. These teams were a big test to the Yotes, but Time persevered and racked up double digit games against Boise State, Utah State and Portland.
It would be hours of traveling and six games before Time and the Yotes would play their home opener on Jan. 1. But to ensure safety during the pandemic, no fans are allowed at the J.A. Albertson’s Activity Center until further notice. The silence in the stands is foreign for the men’s team, but Time didn’t let the changes bother him. In fact, he was up for the challenge.
Against William Jessup, the senior turned in a 23-point, three steal effort in an overtime win. He followed up the next day with a 17-point game in a loss to the Warriors. Despite the split series, Time earned Cascade Conference Player of the Week honors from the league office.
From taking his talents across the country to the coronavirus, Time’s basketball career has had its ups and downs. But like clockwork, he’s been able to stay the course and consistently deliver on the court. Who was once a 2A Florida high school player has become a star in a historically successful College of Idaho program. Ricardo Time’s journey has been one wild ride, but the best part is that it’s not over yet.