Trey Landers playing to his strengths for Dayton Flyers

Senior enjoys first ranking of his career but knows it can be gone fast

Dayton Flyers guard Trey Landers didn't get to celebrate his older brother Robert's Senior Day at Ohio Stadium. He was watching the game from 4,000 miles away in Maui.

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Trey had just returned from Maui last week, so he wasn't in Ann Arbor, Mich., either to see Robert recover a fumble and make two tackles for a loss as the Ohio State Buckeyes completed a 12-0 regular season with a 56-27 rout of Michigan.

“That’s big time,” Trey said of Robert’s performance.

Trey and Robert are on similar paths, each playing their final seasons for ranked teams, and with those seasons now overlapping, it has become more difficult to watch each other play in person. Of course, Trey has had plenty of time over the last five seasons to travel to Columbus.

"I love all those boys to death," Trey said Tuesday after a 99-68 victory over Houston Baptist at UD Arena. "My brother, Chase (Young), Jeff (Okudah), we go out and grab food. All of them are so together, it's crazy. On a football team, you've got so many players. I come from basketball, and there are only 10 or 11 of us. It's a great thing to see them. It pays off on the field."

Only one thing will make this Ohio State fan happy, however.

“We’ve got to get a natty,” said Trey, referring to a College Football Playoff championship.

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Robert Landers has experienced one of the great Ohio State seasons as a fifth-year defensive tackle, and Dayton has a chance to put together a similarly memorable season in Trey's senior seasons. The Flyers (6-1) are ranked for the first time in Trey's career. They entered the Associated Press poll at No. 19 on Monday. Trey was a senior at Wayne High School in February 2016, the last time Dayton was ranked.

“It’s fun to see, but my thing is it can be gone that fast,” Trey said. “Don’t get me wrong: it’s a good feeling to have. The work you put in is starting to pay off, but at the end of the day, that stuff doesn’t really matter.”

What matters more than getting ranked is staying ranked because that means Dayton is continuing to win. It plays one of its most important non-conference games at 4 p.m. Sunday, facing Saint Mary’s at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix.

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Landers’ play bodes well for Dayton on Sunday and in the months to come. He has been a consistent and efficient performer, averaging 9.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. He’s shooting 59.1 percent from the field, a number similar to his sophomore percentage (58.3) and a big improvement from last season (47.4).

Landers scored a season-high 16 points Tuesday by making 6 of 9 shots from the field.

“I’m just playing to my strengths,” Landers said. “I shoot when I’m open, and I finish like I’ve always done. I try not to get out of whack and try not to do stuff I know is not my strength. You don’t really see me one on one breaking a guy down off the dribble. I don’t play like that. I just fit in where I can. Some nights, I might have zero points and 10 rebounds. Some nights, I might have a double-double. That’s just how I am. I let the game come to me.”

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