Whoosh! Net News

UIC nets Eppinger, Isom-Jones


April 29, 2008

File photo

Robert Eppinger

UIC coach Jimmy Collins and his staff rounded out their haul for the recruiting class of 2008 with two solid signings as announced by the athletic department this week.

DeMarkus Isom-Jones, a 6-foot-5 wing player, led Englewood to the IHSA Class 2A sectional finals and averaged 24 points and eight rebounds as a senior. Isom-Jones (pronounced EYE-some) had also been recruited by George Washington, Massachusetts, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Eastern Kentucky and Eastern Illinois.

“After my unofficial visits there, I came away liking the coaches and the surroundings,” Isom-Jones told the Chicago Tribune’s Bob Sakamoto for chicagosports.com’s “The Inside Scoop.”

The Flames also added 6-foot-8, 240-pound power forward Robert Eppinger. UIC had been recruiting Eppinger for awhile, and he will fill the void of the departing Jermaine Dailey.

Eppinger, who also had offers from Cincinnati, Wright State, South Florida and Murray State, averaged 13.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists as a sophomore at Highland Community College. He helped Rockford Jefferson High to an IHSA Class 2A fourth-place finish as a junior there.

Eppinger also played for one season at Minneapolis Patrick Henry High School and for one year at Indian Hills Junior College before transferring to Highland.

In addition to Eppinger and Isom-Jones, the Flames signed guard Zavion Neely of Hope and Jelani Postion of Cincinnati Harmony Christian back in the fall. UIC also has two transfers that will be eligible in 2008-09 in guards Kris Harris and Chris Buchanan.

UIC isn’t resting on its laurels on the recruiting front. The Flames are actively involved in recruiting 6-5 North Lawndale swingman Jonathan Mills and 6-5 Seton shooting guard Tony Nixon.

Mills averaged 16.7 points per game last season for the Class 2A state champs and is also being pursued by DePaul and Illinois State.

According to Illinois Prep Bulls’-Eye, Nixon has also received offers from Northern Illinois, Montana State and Howard. Nixon’s teammate, 6-1 point guard (Class of 2010) Kenny Stevenson has also received a scholarship offer from UIC.


Whoosh! photo

UIC’s MVP Josh Mayo

The Flames gathered together last week to celebrate the season and the coaching staff announced the annual awards.

The awards were as follows:

Most Valuable Player: junior guard Josh Mayo

Defensive Player of the Year: junior center Scott VanderMeer

Newcomer of the Year: freshman guard Robert “Robo” Kreps

Field Goal Percentage Leader: senior forward Jermaine Dailey

Rebounding Leader: VanderMeer

Assists Leader: sophomore guard Spencer Stewart

Purple Heart Award: sophomore forward Jovan Ignjatovic

Ebenezer Noonoo Spirit Award: senior forward Ebenezer Noonoo (the Spirit Award was renamed in his honor this year)

A season highlight and recap video was also shown, and it is available for viewing on YouTube.

In other recent news:
Collins: "I could do this for 3-4 more years" (team, recruiting) (4/7/08)
Flames' seniors reflect (3/18/08)
HORIZON TOURNEY: Weary Flames bow out in semifinals (at Butler) (3/9/08)
HORIZON TOURNEY: Flames freshmen close out Loyola (3/8/08)
HORIZON TOURNEY: Loyola awaits UIC for Round 3 (3/6/08)
HORIZON TOURNEY: Balance boosts Flames past YSU (3/5/08)
Mayo, VanderMeer receive Horizon honors (3/4/08)
VanderMeer lifts Flames to No. 4 seed (at Milwaukee) (3/2/08)