Edwige Lawson is positively giddy about this season with CSKA Moscow.
Champions of Europe three seasons ago, CSKA have as good a chance as any team in the EuroLeague Women to capture the 2007-08 title.
So far, they have won all four of their games in Group A, meaning they are one of three teams that have yet to lose in the competition.
They are also 4-0 in the Russian women's Superleague, and already this season CSKA Moscow have put a new trophy in their awards cabinet after winning the championship in
|Edwige thinks Sandrine Gruda and UMMC Ekaterinburg are Russia's most improved team.|
Edwige, the team's point guard, spoke to Jeff Taylor on behalf of FIBA Europe.
FIBA Europe: Hi Edwige. Congratulations on CSKA Moscow's win in the FIBA Women's World League. Did that experience give you and your teammates a big shot of confidence?
Edwige: "Winning the world league definitely gave us some confidence but we also know that Ekaterinburg didn't play with their full roster and some of the good European teams were not there like Spartak (Moscow Region) or (Gambrinus) Brno, for example."
FIBA Europe: You and most of the other CSKA players had played quite a bit of basketball in the summer with your national teams. Was that an advantage for CSKA in the FIBA Women's World League, or were some of you tired?
Edwige: "I think it was an advantage because we were in game rhythm."
FIBA Europe: Everyone knows about the great tradition of CSKA, but this is a new beginning since the team has relocated from Samara to Moscow. Was it difficult saying good-bye to some of the fans in Samara and do you have a big fan base already in Moscow?
Edwige: "It was sad to leave the Samara fans because some of them gave us great support. We already have some fans here in Moscow but we hope to have even more!"
FIBA Europe: What are your early impressions so far of living in Moscow and have you been there long enough yet to have a favorite tourist spot like Red Square or the Kremlin?
Edwige: "Living in Moscow is great. There are so many things to do and so many places to go. So far, my favorite place is Red Square and the center. I like it particularly at night because of all the lights and it's always alive."
FIBA Europe: Of course the other big change with CSKA is the switch of coaches. Gundars Vetra has replaced Igor Grudin. Was this something that was decided a long time ago or was it unexpected? Also, what are you early impressions of Vetra?
Edwige: "I don't really know when they decided to take Vetra but we are very happy the management found him. I think he adapted very fast to women's basketball and has done a great job with our team. He brought a lot of discipline to our offense and it's the first season we are scoring that much."
FIBA Europe: We have to ask you about the competition level in Russia. The four EuroLeague teams there are just incredible on paper, when you consider the international players and the coaches of Spartak Moscow Region, Dynamo Moscow, UMMC Ekaterinburg
|Lawson and France struggled at EuroBasket Women.|