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    April 28, 2008

    Chicago, Ill.- UIC head men's basketball coach Jimmy Collins announced on Monday (April 28) that guard DeMarkus Isom-Jones (Chicago, Ill./Englewood H.S.) and forward Robert Eppinger (Rockford, Ill./Highland C.C.) have signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Flames beginning in the 2008-09 campaign.

    Isom-Jones is a 6-foot-5 swingman who earned Associated Press Class 2A First Team honors as a scoring machine for sectional finalist Englewood. He averaged 24.0 points and 8.0 rebounds for the Eagles, who finished the season 14th in Bob Sakamoto's final Top 20 ranking of area boys basketball teams for the Chicago Tribune and 15th in Michael O'Brien's Super 25 rankings for the Chicago Sun-Times.

    "DeMarkus is very athletic, shoots the ball well, moves his feet extremely well and is a tremendous rebounder," said Collins. "He brings strength and a true knowledge of the game to our program, and that should help him make an impact immediately. His toughness is truly something we look forward to having."

    Eppinger is a skilled 6-foot-8, 240-pound power forward who averaged 13.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game for Highland Community College in Freeport, Ill. He was voted to the Arrowhead All-Conference Second Team while leading the Cougars to an NJCAA Region IV championship.

    "Robert gives us strength, height and real toughness inside," said Collins. "He can score inside and shoots the ball well from 15 feet. Robert is a player who can contribute right from the start."

    Isom-Jones and Eppinger join a 2008 class that also features guard Zavion Neely (Chicago, Ill./Hope) and forward Jelani Poston (Chicago, Ill./Harmony Prep of Cincinnati), who signed with the Flames in the fall.

    "With DeMarkus, Robert, Jelani and Zavion, we're getting athleticism, real knowledge of the game and the toughness required to compete at the top level of the Horizon League," said Collins.

    "We are concentrating on keeping local talent home," Collins concluded. "Taking care of our backyard is very important to this program, and this class shows that UIC is committed to keeping the area's top student-athletes here."