CHAMPAIGN — Illinois basketball added two more in-state recruiting targets to its board with offers to Class of 2021 wings Louis Lesmond, Isaiah Barnes and Brandon Weston on Sunday.
Lesmond, who transferred to Niles Notre Dame this summer, played for Evanston in 2018-19 after moving to the Chicago area from France. The 6-foot-6 wing played for the French national in the 2018 FIBA U16 European Championship and then helped lead the Wildkits to a runner-up finish in the Class 4A state tournament in March.
Lesmond averaged 4.9 points and 1.9 rebounds in 22 games for Evanston last season, but put up 12 points and five rebounds in the championship game against Belleville West. He has another offer from Nebraska.
Barnes transferred to Oak Park River Forest from Romeoville ahead of his sophomore season. The Huskies lost in a Class 4A regional championship game. Also a 6-6 wing, Barnes has other offers from Loyola Chicago, Miami (Ohio), Milwaukee, Detroit, Illinois-Chicago and Chicago State.
Weston transferred from Lake Forest Academy to Morgan Park last school year, sat out the 2018-19 season and will be eligible this coming season. The three-star guard, with other offers from UMass and Wake Forest, played for Mac Irvin Fire this spring on the Nike EYBL circuit. The 6-4 Weston averaged 13.5 points and 3.5 rebounds — while shooting 34 percent from three-point range — for the Peach Jam-bound Fire playing alongside fellow Illini targets Adam Miller, Marcus Watson Jr., Michael Foster Jr. and Ryan Kalkbrenner.
Lesmond, Barnes and Weston make for seven players with Illinois ties with an Illini offer in the 2021 class. Also on the Illinois board are five-star guard Max Christie (Rolling Meadows), three-star guard Ahamad Bynum (Simeon), three-star wing Bryce Hopkins (Fenwick) and three-star forward Nate Santos (a Geneva native now playing at The Loomis Chaffee School in Connecticut).