Sharp shooter earns spot on Region IX first team

Landon Taliaferro attempts a floater in the paint against North Platte Community College on Jan. 27.  Nikole Anderson

Laramie County Community College men’s basketball standout Landon Taliaferro has been recognized for his on-court performance in the 2017-18 season with a selection to the All-Region IX First Team.

Taliaferro led the nation in three pointers made this season with 130. He shot 48.7 percent from behind the arc, which was seventh in the nation among players who attempted more than 100 three pointers on the season. Taliaferro averaged 22.1 points per game, which led the Golden Eagles and ranked ninth in the nation in scoring.

Taliaferro was an on court leader for the Golden Eagles, leading the team in several statistical categories including field goal percentage and minutes played. He finished the season shooting 49.7 percent from the floor and logged 742 minutes of playing time.

“It’s really cool, I didn’t come into the season planning to make first team or lead the nation in three pointers,” Taliaferro said. “I think that it’s cool that it just kind of happened. It’s cool just to have this at the end of my sophomore year and at the end of this journey. I’m on first team and it’s an honor and it’s really amazing.”

In his freshman season Taliaferro only logged 59 minutes on the court for the Golden Eagles. Going into his sophomore season Taliaferro knew he would have to work on his overall game to earn more playing time from head coach Jason Ficca.

“I just expanded on my skill set and going from primarily being a three point shooter to then moving into the mid-range and the floater,” Taliaferro said. “Also, just the experience and the guys before me kind of paved the way a little bit. They showed me how to do it and how to be a starter and how to be a sophomore.”

Ficca played a big part in transitioning Taliaferro from a seldomly used sharp shooter in his first year to an all-around scorer.

“What he (Ficca) did was he put every player in a position to where they would be best suited, where they could play their best,” Taliaferro said. “It kind of brought me into the role as a shooter, scorer type of guy and he really helped me with that.”

Off the court Ficca had an impact on Taliaferro too.

“Of the court he taught me to just take care of your business in terms of in the classroom or just doing what you got to do,” Taliaferro said. “He really harped on that and that’s two things that I can take away from him.”

Taliaferro will graduate from LCCC this spring with an associates in liberal arts.

With aspirations to continue his basketball career beyond LCCC, Taliaferro hasn’t yet decided where he will play next but has his eye on various Division I schools. He plans to visit Fairfield University in Connecticut, McNeese State in Louisiana, UNC-Greensboro in North Carolina, and a hand full of other schools.

Regardless of where Taliaferro ends up, he said he wants to join a school with a winning culture.

“I want to be part of a winning team,” Taliaferro said. “I think that is big for me, just the winning atmosphere.”

With only a few months left before Taliaferro graduates from LCCC, he hopes to leave a mark on the school and his teammate’s future eating habits

“I want to be remembered as a guy who came in and did what the coaches wanted him to do and followed the process,” Taliaferro said. “Just a positive influence on the people around the school. Also spreading a good diet for the athletes and hopefully, hopefully I leave a little bit of an impression on the freshman to eat well so they can maybe pass it on.”

Taliaferro has left his mark on the men’s basketball team at LCCC and only hopes to expand upon that with his future endeavors.

“I want to also leave a legacy at the next school,” Taliaferro said. “My goal is actually to play in Europe for as long as I can, so moving forward I think that would be a good goal to have with these next two years and then after that.”


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