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Methacton, Jefferson product Erik Timko ready to prove himself at Delaware

04/26/2024, 11:00am EDT
By Josh Verlin

By Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)

Erik Timko had proven all he needed to prove at the Division II level. 

One of the top D-II players in the country, he had wrapped up his undergraduate years at Jefferson University one of the best players in program history, won a league title, played in the NCAA Tournament. With one year of eligibility remaining, it was time to show he could contribute at the top level of college hoops. 

So into the transfer portal he went.

Erik Timko (above) transferred from D-II Jefferson to D-I Delaware this offseason. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

“I was like, I might as well test the waters, see what’s out there,” he told CoBL, “so I felt like it was the right move and see what the future holds.”

He made his Division I dream come true on Tuesday, announcing that his college career will continue at the University of Delaware this winter. It was a wild month in the transfer portal for Timko, who heard from schools at all different levels of D-I, but he’ll be a Blue Hen for his final collegiate season.

“Over the course of the process, I was able to tell which schools were more interested, the schools who kept in contact with me were trying to build relationships with me,” he said. Really just dwindled it down and really just evaluated the pros and cons of each and at the end, I just felt like Delaware was the best fit at the end of all of it.

“I feel like it hasn’t hit me quite yet, it’ll hit me when I’m up on campus and stuff, going through that. [...] I definitely don’t take it for granted.”

A 2020 graduate of Methacton High School, he came to Jefferson University a talented 6-foot-3 scoring guard who’d emerged as one of the best shooters in District 1 during his upperclassman years of high school after playing freshman and JV ball as an underclassman. Timko was the leading scorer on the Methacton squad which was right in the mix for a PIAA 6A state championship before the pandemic canceled the state tournament, setting a Warriors record for points in a season (600).

After the pandemic wiped out his freshman year of college, he got right to work as a sophomore.

In his first season of college hoops, Timko averaged 21.2 ppg, winning Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Rookie of the Year and First Team All-Conference honors. He was named CACC Player of the Year each of the following two seasons, averaging 21.1 ppg for his career while shooting 43.6% from 3-point range; his 1,792 points are 8th in program history.

Instead of hitting the portal a year ago, when he certainly would have had a healthy group of D-I suitors, Timko returned for his senior season to help Jefferson to its best season yet of his three collegiate years. The Rams won 23 games and the CACC championship, losing to Daemen in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. 

“Winning the CACC championship, that was a super-cool experience to be able to come back and do that with the guys I came in with, grew up through college with and grew my game with,” he said. ““I’m obviously grateful, the whole thing with Jefferson, it worked out [...] I didn’t get a chance to go D-I [out of high school] but was able to grow at this level.”

Timko entered the transfer portal March 19, just a few days after his season ended, and almost immediately was hit with a deluge of interest. That’s no surprise, given his size — at 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, he’s two inches taller and 20 pounds stronger than as a senior in high school — and shooting ability, with veteran experience an increasingly-valuable asset in this new era of college hoops.

Timko (above) was a starter on the 2019-20 Methacton squad which won the District 1 6A title. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

Timko’s phone blew up from all over the country, including interest from high-major programs; Timko said the likes of Penn State and Indiana reached out to gauge where he was in the process and what he was looking for. Even amidst the flood of interest, those high-major contacts were eye-openers.

“When I got the call or saw the text,” he said, “I was like, ‘jeeze.’”

Timko said he ended up taking visits to Delaware, Manhattan and Drexel, those three in the mix along with several others that had shown significant interest over the course of his month in the portal. He said that Colgate, which features Methacton classmate Jeff Woodward, was not in the mix.

He joins a Blue Hens program that went 19-14 overall this past season, 10-8 in the Coastal Athletic Association (CAA), losing in the CAA quarterfinals. The Blue Hens have already been to the NCAA Tournament once in Martin Inglesby’s eight seasons, winning a league title in 2021-22, and have been above .500 in each of its last five full (non-COVID) seasons of play.

Like many programs around the country, Delaware’s roster has taken a hit due to the transfer portal. The team’s two leading scorers, Jyare Davis and Gerald Drumgoole Jr., are both gone, but Niels Lane (9.7 ppg) and Cavan Reilly (9.2 ppg), as well as reserve forward Tyler Houser (4.8 ppg) are all slated to return. A pair of local products, Izaiah Pasha (O’Hara/St. Thomas More, Conn.) and Macon Emory (Perkiomen School), will join the team as true freshmen, but Timko wasn’t familiar with the pair.

“I feel like losing a couple leading scorers, there’s an opportunity present,” Timko said. “And obviously just the role they saw me as, I definitely felt like there’s opportunity, I felt like it was a good fit for me and I didn’t want to pass it up.”

He’ll also use the extra year to get his MBA with a focus in international business, after getting his undergraduate degree in business management with a minor in sports marketing.

The Erik Timko who joins Delaware this offseason is taller, faster and stronger than the one who left Methacton four years ago, as ready for the next level as he’s going to be. In just a few months, he’ll get to prove he’s ready for Division I hoops and beyond.

“My whole goal coming into college was to pursue a [playing] career afterwards,” he said. “I still want to pursue that and it’s my main goal looking forward, and I feel like taking this leap will help me grow both physically more, being in a Division I program, and obviously on the court.”

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