Behind The ScenesNCAAB

Trio of Taylor, Landers and Lobo drive NCAA women’s hoops studio coverage

(L-R) Maria Taylor, Rebecca Lobo and Andy Landers on the set of ESPN Big Monday. (Melissa Rawlins/ESPN Images)
(L-R) Maria Taylor, Rebecca Lobo and Andy Landers.
(Melissa Rawlins/ESPN Images)

ESPN’s women’s college basketball coverage featured a new studio team this season with host Maria Taylor and analysts Andy Landers and Rebecca Lobo working ESPN2’s Big Monday. It didn’t take long for the three to develop a close bond, and that has continued this month during the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship.

“As a host, I have never had to play traffic cop to the degree that these shows require, but I feel like I learned so much during the process,” said Taylor, a basketball and volleyball player at Georgia. “It’s just good to be talking about a sport that was one of my first loves, and one that I always watched growing up.”

Chemistry is key, and there’s no doubt that these three have it.

ESPN’s Studio Coverage of Women’s NCAA Tournament

Studio coverage of the women’s championship continues this weekend with the regionals, beginning Friday, March 24 (7 p.m. ET, ESPN; ESPN2), and culminates with the Women’s Final Four in Dallas, Texas. Prior to the National Championship Game, Taylor, Landers and Lobo will preview the matchup during the NCAA Women’s Championship Special Presented by Capital One on Sunday, April 2 (5 p.m., ESPN).

“I’m really lucky because both Maria and Coach Landers have ridiculously upbeat and positive personalities,” Lobo said. “We have a really good time together and truly enjoy each other’s company. Coach has great stories from his days on the sideline and Maria likes to laugh and be loose with us. It’s been a fun year… I’m looking forward to the rest of the tournament. As long as Coach has his Diet Dew.”

Diet Mountain Dew: That’s how Landers gets through his long days. The women’s basketball head coach at Georgia for 36 years, Landers is in his second year as an analyst for SEC Network and ESPN. His relationship with Taylor is even longer, as he coached her at Georgia.

“Maria is so good at what she does, it is ridiculous,” Landers said. “Having coached her in college, we have a sense for each other. However, I am still adjusting to her being in charge. I liked it better when I was telling her what to do! Life takes some funny turns, huh?”

Landers added: “Working with Maria and Rebecca this year was a learning experience. However, it was simplified by Rebecca, who was gracious enough to guide me through the challenges step-by-step. Her advice regarding the preparation each week was spot on.”

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